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Bullpen Flip-Flopping Continues: Alex Burnett Down, Zach Putnam Up

Chicago Cubs News, Chicago Cubs Transactions, Cubs Minor Leagues and Prospects

zach putnamToday the Chicago Cubs swapped relievers with the Iowa Cubs, sending down recently-claimed Alex Burnett in favor of Zach Putnam, a similarly-aged righty with a slightly better pedigree.


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Putnam, 25, was one of the Cubs’ many roster grabs late last year, and he actually had a shot to make the bullpen out of Spring Training. He wasn’t ultimately selected, and he has since been pitching quite well at Iowa. He’s a legitimate long-term option, having been a quality relief prospect for the Indians and Rockies before the latter decided they couldn’t afford to keep him on the 40-man roster. At Iowa, Putnam has a 3.26 ERA over 19.1 innings. More impressively, he’s striking out 10.2 per 9 while walking just 2.8 per 9.

Putnam came up for some discussion a few days ago when Fujikawa’s injury first popped up and the discussion about how to replace him began.

Burnett remains a long-term stash, and the Cubs had the benefit of being able to option him down. Now they’ll get a chance to see what they have in Putnam at the big league level while keep Burnett around for the future. Possibly.


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Kyuji Fujikawa was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Putnam on the 40-man roster.


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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.