The Rafael Soriano experiment has drawn to a close.
Soriano, who signed a minor-league deal with the Cubs in June, was released over the weekend after being designated for assignment on Monday. He faced 25 batters in a grand total of 5.2 innings out of the bullpen, striking out four, walking one and pitching to a 6.35 ERA/6.85 FIP/4.06 xFIP and -0.2 fWAR in limited action.
In fact, Soriano faced more batters for Cubs affiliates this season (36 in 10 innings of work for Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa) than he did for the big league team.
Although, he did finish with a 2-0 record.
The most memorable of Soriano’s wins?
Or was it this one?
Unfortunately it wasn’t enough for the Cubs to keep Soriano, who never re-captured the efficiency he pitched with in the first half of 2014, nor was he able to get the velocity back on his fastball — which had been on the decline in recent years and averaged out at 90.7 mph with the Cubs. His secondary pitches didn’t have the same bite, either, further hindering his bullpen experience.
He even went into his bag of tricks to find his rarely used curveball. Soriano threw six curves in his 117-pitch stint with the Cubs after using it six times between 2007 to 2014, per Brooks Baseball.
Soriano reportedly signed a prorated deal worth $4.1 million that had a potential $4 million to be made with incentives. As it turns out, the deal cost the Cubs around $2 million as they tried their hand at getting something out of the former All-Star closer.
A reasonable flyer, and I suppose there are worse ways to spend a couple million bucks.