If this news came about two years ago, it would have been hugely exciting.

Today the Chicago Cubs signed left-handed reliever Hong-Chih Kuo to a minor league deal. Kuo, 30, will report to extended Spring Training in Mesa, and the Cubs will see what he’s got left.

You may remember Kuo from 2010 – he was that reliever with the Dodgers who was so absurdly good, and came out of relative obscurity to do it (he’d actually been pretty good for two straight years before that, but his 2010 season – 1.20 ERA, 0.783 WHIP, 4.06 K/BB in 60 innings – really put him on the map). In 2011, however, an anxiety disorder and an elbow problem wrecked his 2011 season, and he hasn’t been able to come back since. He spent Spring Training with the Mariners this year, but he couldn’t put it together, and the team released him in mid-March.

This is a classic low-risk, high-reward flyer, and would make for a nice story if Kuo could come back with the Cubs. But the probability here – Kuo is on his fifth elbow surgery – is quite low.

  • cjdubbya

    We did pretty well with a castoff from the Mariners’ relief corps already this year…let’s hope that we can catch that same lightning twice!

  • MichiganGoat

    Yeah we are saved. I guess if you keep pulling the lever you will eventually win a jackpot.

  • EQ76

    Kuo beans.

  • Myles

    Great move, in all seriousness. For the price of nothing, you get a guy who could either do nothing (in which case who cares) or provide some value to a bad bullpen (and the chance is definitely nonzero).

  • Cubmig

    “Lightning-in-a-bottle” had to be the winning point in any argument to sign Kuo. I sure hope it pans out for Theo&Co. Can’t help but be reminded of Hendry’s penchant for reclamation projects though……

    • Joe

      Yep! Ian Stewart signing is proving to be a disaster already.

      • Richard Nose

        Nobody ‘signed’ Ian Stewart. That was a square trade across the board.

        • Joe

          So you’re saying the Rockies are responsible for his 3 mil salary?

  • Big Joe

    Nice. A 30 year-old reliever, who suffers from anxiety disorder. Had a spring ERA around 9.00, and is coming off his FIFTH arm surgery. I shouldn’t be shocked, yet, I am. Ummm…yeah. Who needs Sean Marshal??? Not us. Apparently.

    • Carew

      He was an an All-Star and still relatively youngish. Low-risk, high-reward

    • Drew7

      You’re right: a team w the worst record in baseball doesnt need Sean Marshall.

  • Big Joe

    He was. Now, he is an ineffective, often injured, head case …who receive a paycheck from the, yeah, the Cubs. High upside? Where? Show me? Hell, show HIM. If I were him, I’d have trouble sleeping tonight. I’d be laughing too hard.

  • Big Joe

    Yeah. I can’t imagine why the Cubs have the bottom record in baseball. With moves like this, good days are on the horizon.

    • Drew7

      Well, there are lots of reasons for it, but having Sean Marshall wouldnt even bring this club out of the cellar, let alone make them a decent team.

  • Big Joe

    Don’t need Marshal? Ok. Then…don’t sign Stewart, or DeJesus. Release Soriano. This team even finds a half-ass way TO SUCK. Save your money, and play the kids. Is it REALLY that hard???