When the Chicago Cubs took reliever David Patton in the Rule V draft, no one believed he would remain with the Cubs for long. After all, to stay a Cub, he had to stay on the active, 25-man roster virtually all year, and the Cubs were loaded with quality relievers.
Ah, but the Cubs are a crafty bunch.
As we noted previously, Patton needed to remain on the active roster just 90 days if the rest of his time was spent on the disabled list. But how realistic is it to count on a guy getting injured?
And then it happened. Patton turned up with a bum groin (or hamstring, or elbow, or nose, whatever), and he was on the disabled list – the day his time on the Cubs clicked over to 91. Nice.
Now with rosters expanding to 40, the Cubs can activate Patton from the disabled list – you know, now that he’s all “healed” – and they will be able to keep him for good. And that’s what they did yesterday, with Patton heading to Chicago to join the big club.
It was a clever ruse, and one that frankly, not enough teams take advantage of. Now, if only the Cubs could have done it with a slightly better player.