From the Shrug Department:
The Chicago Cubs may look to re-sign 2011 swing pitcher Ramon Ortiz to a minor league deal. Ortiz, 38, split time between the Cubs and AAA Iowa last year, with modest success in each place – he had a 4.86 ERA and 1.260 WHIP with the Cubs in 22 games (20 of which came out of the pen) and a 4.26 ERA and a 1.359 WHIP in 16 games at Iowa (all starts).
Ortiz adds to the Cubs’ pile o’depth, and can also probably help a few young arms at AAA, where he’ll start the season short of a catastrophic rash of injuries in Spring Training.
The Cubs have already signed one of last year’s other fringey, swing starter types, Rodrigo Lopez. If Lopez is the team’s ninth starter, then Ortiz would slot in somewhere right around tenth. Or 14th. Something like that. Ortiz will join Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Paul Maholm, Travis Wood, Chris Volstad, Randy Wells, Jeff Samardzija, Andy Sonnanstine, Lopez, and Casey Coleman as theoretical rotation options (and that’s without digging into the minors too aggressively).
Clearly, this front office doesn’t want to be put in the position that last year’s was, when injuries at the start of the year forced the team to scramble to pick up guys like Doug Davis and … um … Ramon Ortiz.