Chicago Cubs Claim Righty Zach Putnam Off Waivers from Rockies

Insert joke about “if the Rockies don’t want a certain pitcher, nobody wants him.”

Today, the Cubs once again skimmed the waiver wire to pick up a fringy arm, who had been waived by the Colorado Rockies. That arm belongs to Zach Putnam, a 25-year-old righty who has had a couple cups of coffee, but has mostly been a minor league pitcher.

Putnam, a reliever, has pitched in four full professional seasons after being drafted out of the University of Michigan back in 2008. He made it to AAA by 2010, but has kind of stalled out there. His numbers are consistently in the 3.50 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 8 K/9, 3 BB/9 range. Good. Not great. Certainly good enough to be considered a candidate for the bullpen in 2013.

Putnam was the prospect the Rockies landed when they dealt Kevin Slowey (who was a non-tender candidate at the time, if I remember correctly) to the Indians before the 2012 season. Back in 2011, Putnam was a top 20 prospect for the Indians, and was considered a top 10 prospect for the Rockies this year, before falling back into the 15 to 20 range after a mediocre season.

You’ll notice a lot of waiver activity today, as teams make room for anticipated free agency signings, starting as soon as tomorrow. The Cubs snagged pitcher Carlos Gutierrez off of waivers from the Twins a couple weeks ago.

The addition of Putnam brings the 40-man roster to 34, but that doesn’t include Arodys Vizcaino, Matt Garza, and Ian Stewart, who are technically still on the 60-day disabled list. It includes Shawn Camp, who’ll be removed tomorrow when he hits free agency.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

42 responses to “Chicago Cubs Claim Righty Zach Putnam Off Waivers from Rockies”

  1. cub4life

    hmmmm another fringe guy………so does that put us at 36? 37? on the 40 man.

  2. Andy

    What is the deadline to re-roster Arodys Vizcaino, Matt Garza, and Ian Stewart to the 40 man from the 60 day DL?? Or, at minimum, Arodys and Matt.

    1. Kyle

      It presumably already happened. The DL disappeared when the season ended.

  3. MightyBear

    Hey Brett/Luke

    How do you pronounce Tony Zych’s last name? Is it like rich or bike or something else? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Luke

      Rhymes with kick.

      1. Luke

        At least, that’s how the press box in Tennessee pronounced it.

  4. Kyle

    His reputation seems a lot better than his stats would imply, although pitching in Colorado Springs is part of that.

    Still, trolling the Rockies’ scraps isn’t usually the way to find useful players.

    1. AB

      In 2007 I saw the Iowa Cubs lineup of Soto/Hoffpauir/Patterson/Cedeno/Moore/Murton/Pie score 19 runs at colorado springs.

      of course most of the damage was off of ‘The’ Dave Veres.

  5. MightyBear

    Thanks gentlemen. Hopefully we’ll be hearing Kasper say “and another save for Zych” so much we hear it in our sleep.

  6. Andy

    AZ Phil got it!

    For a player who is transferred from the MLB 15-day DL to the MLB 60-day DL (or from a minor league club’s 7-day DL to the minor league club’s 60-day DL), time spent on the MLB 15-day DL (or minor league 7-day DL) prior to being transferred counts toward the minimum 60 days a player must spend on the Emergency Disabled List. All players on a 60-day DL must be reinstated to the club’s Reserve List no later than the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series.

  7. Tim

    nyger morgan declines his assignment to AAA and becomes free agent. any chance the cubs view him as their CF and Dejesus stays in right?

  8. Stevie B

    Dig my eyeballs out with a melon baller before we get Morgan. Seriously. Then salt them heavily.

    1. ETS

      I’d rather have Nyger Morgan in the outfield than Joe Morgan in our booth. Jus sayin.

  9. clark addison

    I think I’d rather have bubonic plague.

  10. Stevie B

    Id rather Mike Morgan than either one of those.

    Nyger Morgan needs to mmmmmmmmmmmmmmeeeet with an aaaaaaaaaccident.

    1. daveyrosello

      I’d rather have Malena Morgan :-)

  11. Tommy

    3.50 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 8 K/9, 3 BB/9 range

    Those numbers are about as good as anyone else we have in AAA right now. I’ll take a flyer on that guy.

  12. terencemann

    Jeremy Jefress has been DFA’d by the Royals and could hit waivers next week. Wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cubs pick him up. He’s a hard throwing reliever with a high K/9 rate in the minors.

    1. Dr. Percival Cox

      Why was he DFA’d? Control issues?

      1. terencemann

        Yeah, he’s never been able to keep the walk rate down at the major league level but he only just turned 25. He walked a batter for every strikeout last season.

  13. MightyBear

    Any thoughts on the Cubs going after Scott Baker as a starter? He could be a good fit for the right price. What’s he going to command?

    1. terencemann

      He’s a hot name for the buy low market but it sounds like it’s almost a forgone conclusion that the Twins will re-sign him.

      1. Hebner The Gravedigger

        Yup, the talk here in MSP is that Baker will be back with the Twins.

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