chicago cubs logoThe non-tender deadline came and passed, and the Chicago Cubs have already picked up one of the better non-tendered players: lefty reliever Wesley Wright.

That is according to Bob Nightengale (and confirmed by Mark Gonzalez), who reports that the Cubs are getting Wright on a one-year, $1.425 million deal. If the name is familiar, you may have read about him today in my piece on interesting non-tender targets for the Cubs. Here’s what I said about him:

Wesley Wright is a quality left-handed reliever who was simply going to make a touch too much money in arbitration for the Rays’ tastes, so he was cut loose. But he’s a 28-year-old lefty who’s posted a 3.48 ERA and a 3.03 K/BB over the last two years. For his career, he falls more in the lefty specialist role, with lefties hitting just .231/.313/.342 off of him. If the Cubs are looking to add another lefty to the bullpen from the outside (or maybe want to have the flexibility to deal James Russell), they could do a lot worse than Wright for a million or two.

If the Cubs really have picked up Wright on the deal described by Nightengale, there’s a lot to like. Wright has been as good or better than Russell over the last two years, which should provide the Cubs with considerable cover in the bullpen. They could employ Wright as a true lefty specialist, and/or shop Russell around with more confidence now.

Assuming the Cubs keep both Russell and Wright, they’re probably done adding lefties in the bullpen, except for a minor league flyer addition. Being able to employ a lefty in a specialist/LOOGY role while still having another one available at the manager’s disposal is something the Cubs haven’t had for a couple years. I expect that Rick Renteria appreciates it.

The speed with which the Cubs signed Wright after he was non-tendered suggests they were monitoring his situation closely, and pounced immediately (giving Wright just about what he would have received in arbitration from the Rays if he hadn’t been non-tendered).

Bonus good news? If Wright is fantastic, the Cubs can control him for 2015, too, via arbitration.

  • sans

    I’m not one of the typical posters who’ll chastise those who fail to attain any level of interest over these kinds of moves – any Cubs’ fan being frustrated with the current front office/ownership is completely justified.

    However I really like this signing, along with the Kottaras trade, in context. That context being the acquisition of quality supporting pieces – in this case, a LOOGY and a backup catcher.

    Again, in context, these are good acquisitions.

    • Crazyhorse

      Seems like a nice pick up. I hope Castro is nice to him . This guy can be good, i am kinda wondering why is he available? deceptive slider he is gonna get alot of double play outs for the Cubs as long as castro dont daydream. I like this pick even with an occasional bad outing this guy can have good stats,

      • Crazyhorse

        Oh he is no Loogy he can pitch to both side and talented batter R/l with a natural golf swing will pain him -i think , kinda surprized and glad ,

  • Jon

    Sorry if this is a repost but did anyone see Jessie Rodgers get punked on twitter?

    • hansman

      Ya, the funny thing, is the idea he was basing his joke off of, never came to fruition. At this point, I think I could do no worse than Jesse Rogers.

  • YourResidentJag

    Hollandsworth considered favorite for analyst radio job.

  • Mayhem

    No way we get Tanaka. Looks like he won’t be posted.

  • Brains

    dudes, were not getting tanaka. i’d be surprised if we even bid the minimum. plus this, this morning. things are turning out even worse than we anticipated.

    • YourResidentJag

      Very disappointing.

    • Brett

      Things are worse because the Mets are probably going to sign Granderson to a three-year deal? In what way is that worse for the Cubs?

      • Brains

        how about this – tell me how things are getting better for the 25 man roster, and how they definitively will be prepared to compete within the next 2 years?

        • Brett

          The 25-man roster got better by the very addition in this post.

          But that has nothing to do with what you’re complaining about.

          • Brains

            what difference maker do you think we’ll sign this offseason?

            • Jay

              Nobody. Have you not been paying attention to what’s going on the past couple years? I’m just glad the Yankees made another one of their loopy deals and took Ellsbury out of play.

              • Voice of Reason

                Loopy deals? A lot of people on this website were going crazy for the cubs to make that loopy deal and sign ellsbury.

            • Rebuilding

              Tanaka. A TOR starter and by far the best pitcher on the market this year.

            • cms0101

              What kind of difference maker should they sign? Does this person even exist on the free agent market? I don’t see one. Do you really want them to give Cano a 7 year, $150+ mil dollar deal? Does that get them to 80 wins in 2014. It’s tiring to see all of the complaints that the Cubs aren’t doing anything to improve their roster. Wright was a solid signing to buy a guy low. He’ll add something to the bullpen that they needed, and if they’re not contending at the deadline they could turn him into another piece for when they will contend. Tanaka is an ideal guy for them to try and go after. And they’ve already said they’ll be involved multiple times. If there’s a chance the posting fee is going to be much lower than what they thought when those comments were made, how can you dismiss the idea that they’ll go after him and then complain about no major signings this year? And Granderson signing with the Mets has no bearing on the Cubs. He wasn’t even on their radar, nor should he have been.

              • frank


  • Chuck24

    Another crap signing…there is no interest in making this team even reasonably competitive next season. None.

    • Mike W

      How do you consider him to be a crap signing? Who would you like the Cubs to waste millions of dollars on? This is 1 year for 1.4 million that is a very good deal. Plus it adds another lefty to the bullpen. It is a great sign, may not be the best pitcher in the league but he is solid.

      • Brains

        i agree, it’s a decent signing. but it’s inflected by a lack of meaningful signings, which makes it holistically seem piecemeal and short sighted at best.

      • frank

        Especially considering how awful the bullpen was–especially at the beginning of last season.

    • Voice of Reason

      This should come as no surprise.

      Management said there will be no major signings this off season.

      Other than cano there are no really good free agents and signing just cano won’t make a difference next year.

      We just have to be patient while the rebuild continues. They will fill in with free agents and trading for veterans once we know what minor leaguers will make it and what positions they will at.

      • CubFan Paul

        “Management said there will be no major signings this off season”

        False. Theo&Co said they have enough to add one impact player.

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  • preacherman86

    No other good free agents? What about Choo? The prototypical cubs guy. Also, why all the pessimism on tanaka? Cubs brass said just a day or two ago that they were strongly confident on that front (loose wording).

    • Funn Dave

      Two days ago they had no idea what the posting system was going to look like. Also, some people aren’t confident that the FO is being upfront with fans–that is, that they’ll make a show of going after players like Tanaka, but won’t actually pursue them to the end. So their confidence two days ago isn’t super relevant. Also, if I remember correctly, that confidence was leaked & the FO rebuked those that leaked it.

  • Mayhem

    So much FAIL in the rebuild process, but the FO and RIcketts have made their bed and there is nothing we can do about it. Might as well relax and enjoy the ride. There are plenty of things to enjoy besides the Cubs while they stink up the town.

    Just please don’t paint/sell these small-time small market signings as anything positive. They are just cheap fill ins until we are ready to compete. Ok by me, nothing to see here, Plus, if you are waiting for any winter meeting moves, you should watch the Theo interview. Lots of positivity, just not this year. We have to wait until all the stars align.

    • Rebuilding

      I think your two paragraphs contradict themselves. The rebuild has failed, but we have to wait for the rebuild to pay off. Ehhh, what?

      • Kyle

        Those are in no way contradictory.

        The rebuild wasn’t necessary and to some degree has been botched, but from the state the team is currently in, there’s no real mechanisms available for changing directions.

        • Rebuilding

          You bring up a completely separate point – was a complete rebuild even necessary. A discussion we have had many times. But to say the complete rebuild has failed when most of the players they have acquired are in AA or below is silly

  • OlderStyle

    Nice signing. I’d still like to see a good closer-type signed, like Mujica or the like.

    With a solid bullpen at least next season could be palatable.

    Tanaka is on my wishlist.

    A rebound contract with Corey Hart might be a nice option.

    A fantastic Jeff S. trade would be nice but nobody seems to be biting at that shark bait right now. (couldn’t resist) At least the FO is applying a nice strategy, ahem, of “parallel fronts” by seeking a stellar trade deal and playing some negotiating hardball with Jeff. I’m guessing Shark wants a monster deal, with a NTC and all and if he doesn’t get it he’ll get paid in two years. The Cubs should not blink on this.

  • Jim

    The Cubs have the four R’s of Lefty relief: Russell, Rusin, Raley, and Wright. Well done Cubs!

  • http://BN Sacko

    I think it is a good sign (Wright) and I dont predict a trade of our left handers until spring training. Who is suppose to be the impact player on the market yet. Whats happening with Tanaka that people are down about?

  • Funn Dave

    I’m about as excited as one can somewhat reasonably be about this type of signing. Was really hoping we’d pick him up based on his skill and the fact that we were so short on lefties last season in the pen.

  • wilbur

    Nice pickup by cubs. Nice job of identifying this pticher from the list of players made available too. This is the kind of signning a rebuilding team like the cubs should be making, more value here and a better fit than some fanasy league impact player signing or trade that doesnt exist and doesnt help you win a championship. Good job by the cubs front office!!

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