Cubs agree to terms with RHP Carlos Villanueva

The Chicago Cubs and right-handed pitcher Carlos Villanueva have agreed to terms on a two-year contract. To make room for Villanueva on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Lendy Castillo has been designated for assignment.

Villanueva, 29, joins the Cubs after pitching the last seven seasons with Milwaukee (2006-10) and Toronto (2011-12). The versatile Villanueva has made 56 starts and 245 relief appearances during his major league career, going 33-35 with six saves and a 4.26 ERA (311 ER/657.1 IP) in 301 big league outings. In his most recent two seasons with the Blue Jays, Villanueva made 29 starts and 42 relief appearances.

Last season, he carried a 7-4 record and a 3.10 ERA (34 ER/98.2 IP) in 33 appearances (11 starts) through the end of August before struggling during the season’s final month with a 0-3 record and an 8.10 ERA (24 ER/26.2 IP) in five September starts. Overall in 2012, Villanueva went 7-7 with a 4.16 ERA (58 ER/125.1 IP) in 38 appearances (16 starts).

Villanueva made his major league debut with Milwaukee in 2006 and became a big league mainstay by the 2008 season. He set a career high with 64 appearances in 2009 and averaged a career-best 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings in 2010, his lone season pitching exclusively in relief. Villanueva set career highs last season with 125.1 innings pitched, 16 starts and 122 strikeouts.

In his career, Villanueva has limited opponents to a .248 batting average and a .315 on-base percentage. He has averaged 7.8 strikeouts and 3.1 walks per nine innings.

A native of Santiago, Dominican Republic, Villanueva originally signed with San Francisco as a non-drafted free agent in 2002. He was traded to Milwaukee just days prior to the 2004 season and was traded to Toronto during the 2010-11 offseason.

Castillo went 0-1 with a 7.88 ERA (14 ER/16.0 IP) in 13 relief outings for the Cubs last season.

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