jaye chapman cubsBack when the Chicago Cubs went through their second round of post-season roster chopping at the non-tender deadline, one of the names some folks were surprised to see chopped was reliever Jaye Chapman. The 25-year-old righty had been acquired midseason in the deal that brought Arodys Vizcaino over from the Braves for Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson.

From there, he pitched reasonably well with the Cubs in a very small sample size (12 innings) – 3.75 ERA, 1.500 WHIP, 9.0 K/9, 7.5 BB/9 (AHHH!), and 3.59 FIP. He looked decent in the process, and figured to be a guy with a good shot at winning a middle relief role next year. But then he was non-renewed by the Cubs in November, primarily because they knew they were going to need some roster spots.

Fortunately, it looks like the Cubs re-signed Chapman (officially on December 25, but the Cubs just released the signing) to a minor league deal, and invited him to Spring Training.

At worst, he’s additional reliever depth at AAA next year, and, at best, he’s a night arm with upside. He’ll face steep competition in Spring Training, though, what with guys like Cory Wade, Jensen Lewis, Hisanori Takahashi, and Andrew Carpenter already in line to fight as non-roster invitees in the Spring. More options, however, is always better.

I’m glad to see Chapman back on board, even if nothing comes of it.

The same goes for righty Zach Putnam, a promising reliever the Cubs had previously grabbed off of waivers from the Rockies. Like Chapman, Putnam was non-renewed, and has now been re-signed on a minor league deal. So, all that stuff I just said about Chapman competing or at least becoming nice depth at AAA? Ditto. In fact, Putnam might have a touch more upside than Chapman.

  • https://www.facebook.com/AnotherSpaceSong Bret Epic

    Glad Jaye is back. I can definitely see potential there.

  • #1lahairfan

    Cool. Now let’s sign Jacob Brigham. Can anyone tell me if the rangers re-signed him after they non-tendered him?

  • http://www.backingthepack.com Rynomite

    “He’ll face steep competition in Spring Training, though, what with guys like Cory Wade, Jensen Lewis, Hisanori Takahashi, and Andrew Carpenter already in line to fight as non-roster invitees in the Spring.”

    This is exactly why the Cubs will be much improved in 2013. Instead of going about 7 deep in actual MLB level arms, we are about 15 deep. Perhaps no true 1/2 starter level pitching in the rotation, but lots and lots of quality depth. No innings to 7+ ERA guys in 2013.

  • http://Bleachernation.com Frank

    Glad to have Jaye back,I liked what I seen last year from him. What is the status of Nick Struck. I haven’t heard anything since he was dropped from the roster.

    • João Lucas

      Actually Struck was never on the roster. What happened is the FO decided not to add him to the roster to protect him from being taken at the Rule 5 Draft (he was eligible). But nobody drafted him, so he’s still with the Cubs. I reckon he’ll be in Iowa’s rotation this season.

  • daveyrosello

    Don’t forget, we have Arodys Vizcaino, too. Many scouts and wags feel he will end up as a bullpen guy. Fuji, Marmol and Vizcaino would have the makings of a terrific back end of the bullpen. With one of the above-mentioned AAA guys as a middle reliever to join Camp, Russell and at least for now, Rondon. That’s a major improvement over the 2012 bullpen, worth 5 to 10 wins over the course of a 162 game season.

    • João Lucas

      Not to mention Bowden plus two of the seven viable starters we have right now.

  • TheRiot2

    It’s kind of funny but when everybody talks about our pitching depth nobody mentions Carlos Villaneueva,and this is a guy who can fill in as a starter or a reliever.

  • Melrosepad

    Any chance we look at Thomas Neal, just DFA’d by the Indians? He could fill the roll of LaHair as a LF, RF, 1st backup at a low price. Low top 100 prospect before ’10.

    • TheRiot2

      I like the Neal idea, as he hits RH, and has played all outfield spots plus 1B. He’d be a cheap sign and could surprise with a strong Spring.I see youth and upside there.

  • Big Joe

    Yes, the bullpen is possibly shaping up. Now, all the Cubs have to do, is find a way to be ahead late in a game.

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

    Jaye Chapman might have walked too many in his limited time with the Cubs, but getting him on a minor league deal is awesome news.

  • Don Hogue

    Glad to see Jaye back with the Cubs and I wish him all the best. This is a quality young man who will pay dividends to any organization, on the field and off.