Yesterday, the Cubs’ transaction wire was updated to reflect another minor league signing – pitcher Cory Wade, whom the Cubs apparently inked back on December 13. I didn’t want to write this up in the middle of the Jackson/Villanueva madness, but since we’ve got a little breather, here you go.
Wade, 29, pitched in 2012 for the Yankees … very ineffectively. He put up a 6.46 ERA over 39 innings. HOWEVA, he was brilliant in 39.2 innings the year before, and in 2008 as a rookie with the Dodgers. He fell off in 2009 before spending 2010 in the minors, and catching on with the Yankees. Further, that “ineffective” 2012 season wasn’t all that bad by the peripherals. Wade’s WHIP was 1.385, and he walked just 1.8 per 9, while striking out 8.8 per 9. The real damage was done by way of the long-ball, and his 16.7% HR/FB rate suggests he was really unlucky in that regard (thus the very nice 3.65 xFIP).
Taking it all together, I’d say that Wade actually has a pretty fair shot of cracking the Cubs’ bullpen in 2013, and could be a nice arm in middle relief. He’ll get a non-roster invitation to Spring Training, and the Cubs will see what he’s got.
Like Andrew Carpenter and Jensen Lewis before him, Wade is a nice no-risk bullpen arm, who’ll compete for a job in Spring Training. I love that the Cubs are bringing in guys like this on minor league deals. There is the upside to be a bullpen regular, and the downside is depth at AAA. Might as well sign as many of ‘em as you can.