Now this is a bullpen move worth discussing. Apologies to Kevin Gregg. Not that this is a *huge* move.
Today, the Chicago Cubs claimed right-handed reliever Kameron Loe off of waivers from the Seattle Mariners. To make room for Loe on the 40-man roster, the Cubs placed catcher Steve Clevenger (oblique) on the 60-day disabled list.
Loe, 31, couldn’t quite break out with the Rangers early in his career, and departed for Japan in 2009. He returned a year later, and became a quality arm in the Milwaukee bullpen. After a down 2012 season – 4.61 ERA, 1.434 WHIP, 90 ERA+ – Loe caught on with the Mariners this Spring, but became expendable when they added Aaron Harang late last week.
Loe isn’t a stud, but he’s been very steady over the last three years, with a K-rate solidly over 7.0 per 9, and a BB-rate solidly below 3.0 per 9. Most of his “down” 2012 season is attributable to an increased HR rate, which could normalize over time. He’s also a huge, hulking dude – 6’8″ and 250 lbs – for whatever that’s worth.
That is all to say that Loe is probably a guy worthy of a bullpen spot, and I can see why the Cubs would be willing to take a flyer on him.
Given that they’ve used a 40-man roster spot on him, we could actually see him in the pen relatively soon, depending on whether the Cubs really want Rafel Dolis filling Kyuji Fujikawa’s abdicated roster spot. Loe is probably a guy the Cubs see potential rebound value in, and want to see what he can do over the next few months.
Or he’s a roster stash, and will head to AAA Iowa. There wasn’t anyone else immediately needing a 40-man spot, and, since Clevenger is obviously going to be out for a while, there was no reason not to make this move.