Poor Michael Bowden. The reliever the Cubs picked up last year in the Marlon Byrd trade has been DFA’d so many times by the Cubs that I’ve lost count (I think it’s three, but it might be four). Today, he was DFA’d again, per multiple reports, in favor of Korean reliever Chang-Yong Lim, who will head to Chicago and has been added to the 40-man roster.
Lim, 37, has been recovering from Tommy John surgery, and was signed by the Cubs to a minor league deal in December. The contract was a unique, two-year split minor league deal, so I suspect the Cubs needed to see him in the big leagues before the season ended, so they can make a decision about keeping him for 2014. Lim was dominant in Korea and Japan for a number of years, and dominated the minors this year along his rehab path. He put up a 1.61 ERA and 0.896 WHIP over 22.1 innings. He struck out 24 and walked just 7. I’d say it’s very fair to give him a look, and it would be nice to be excited about the possibility of him being a late-inning option going into 2014.
That excitement was probably never going to emerge for Bowden, who’ll now head back to waiver limbo. Presumably he’ll clear, and then will have a decision about his future (i.e., returning to the Cubs on a minor league deal, or heading out for another opportunity). Bowden had a 4.30 ERA this year with the Cubs, together with a 5.5 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9.