Even good teams do the waiver wire dance. Don’t forget it.
Today, the Chicago Cubs claimed righty Ryan Cook off of waivers from the Red Sox. He’ll go on the 40-man roster for now, which stands at 30.
Cook, 28, has a solid career ERA/FIP/xFIP line of 3.43/3.31/3.80, and decent enough peripherals to match, so you immediately wonder: why was this guy waived by the Red Sox? Well, there are a few reasons: (1) the Red Sox have a glut of borderline arms that might have to be moved to the pen or might have to be moved out; (2) he’s going to be in his second arbitration year after making $1.4 million last season; and (3) he pitched just 8.2 disastrous innings in the big leagues in 2015. It also appears that Cook is out of minor league options (he’s had an up-and-down arc, which makes it a little harder to track when you’re trying to quickly get a post out the door – either way, he has enough service time that he’d have to agree to be optioned anyway).
It’s going to take me a little time to discern exactly what happened to take Cook from a consistently solid reliever to whatever happened to him last year. Obviously there were serious command troubles, but we’ll have to dig in on the cause.
In any case, the Cubs felt it worth grabbing him and putting him on the 40-man roster for now. From here, they could evaluate and decide to tender him a contract on December 2 (he doesn’t project to get much of a raise from the $1.4 million he made last year), or they could try and do as the Red Sox did, and sneak him through waivers and try to place him at Iowa.