You thought minor league signing season was over, didn’t you!
The Chicago Cubs’ quest to find useful players, reclamation or complementary or otherwise, is never-ending. Today, the Cubs look to be bringing in another arm, as they’re reportedly set to sign 26-year-old righty Jake Buchanan, who was just released by the Astros (Evan Drellich). It’s a minor league deal for Buchanan, who has bounced back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen in recent years.
A 2010 eighth rounder of NC State, Buchanan moved rapidly up through the Astros’ minor league system (he was pitcher of the year in 2011), making his big league debut in 2014. Results in the big leagues were mixed in 2014 and 2015 for Buchanan, who spent most of his time at AAA in 2015, and in the bullpen.
Buchanan doesn’t miss many bats, but also walks almost no one. I kind of like that as the profile for a guy who cruised through the minors (younger, less-polished hitters can’t take advantage), stalls out in the Majors, and then converts to the bullpen, where the stuff and velocity might tick up a bit (but hopefully the control and command stick around). In his time in the big leagues, Buchanan’s fastball was in the upper-80s, for what it’s worth.
So, then, we’ll see if Buchanan sticks around for long in the Cubs’ organization. He’ll presumably head to AAA Iowa, where I’m guessing he’ll continue his conversion to the bullpen.