I thought this was a possibility back when the Dodgers designated him for assignment, but today, according to multiple sources, the Chicago Cubs signed reliever Mike MacDougal to a minor league deal. The 35-year-old reliever cleared waivers yesterday, refused an outright assignment to the minors, and was granted his release.
MacDougal was absolutely solid for the Dodgers in middle relief last year, posting a 2.05 ERA in 57 innings, and getting a whole lot of ground balls. His peripherals suggest he was a bit more lucky than good, though, with a 1.456 WHIP and a mere 1.41 K/BB ratio. In 2010, he was abysmal for the Cardinals, and in the years before that, he was just OK. He was quite the stud in his late 20s, though, so the stuff has always been there. But he’s only been truly effective when he knew where the ball was going, and that was always rare.
This year, with the Dodgers, after signing a one-year, $1 million deal, MacDougal deal with a finger problem and a serious case of the flu, the result of which was a drop in velocity. He was incredibly hittable, and was thus DFA’d a week ago.
Who knows? The Cubs have had great success with Shawn Camp, another mid-30’s bullpen castaway who was previously quite good. MacDougal will probably work a bit at AAA Iowa so that the Cubs can see what he’s got left health-wise, and what they might be able to improve. For now, he’s depth, but he’s depth with the possibility of becoming a contributor. That’s a nice guy to pick up for nothing in May.