More pitching depth for the Chicago Cubs, who today claimed 26-year-old righty Dylan Floro off of waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays.
Floro was a 13th round pick in the 2012 draft, and steadily worked his way through the Rays’ system until he reached the big leagues in 2016, where he posted solid K/BB numbers in his 15.0 innings of work out of the bullpen (19.4%/6.9%). The 2016 season, both at AAA and in MLB, was Floro’s first pitching out of the bullpen. He’d previously been a starting pitcher with success as an extreme control guy (like, 2% walk rate extreme). But, given a very low strikeout rate, the Rays clearly decided to see what he could do out of the bullpen, and the results were, as I said, very solid.
Whether Floro stays a reliever with the Cubs or goes back to starting – where the team has a need for up-and-down starter types (Floro has minor league options remaining) – remains to be seen. He looks to be a quality pitcher who has locked out by a roster crunch in Tampa Bay after their recent trade with the Mariners.
The biggest question here is the health of Floro’s arm, because he finished the season on the disabled list with a forearm issue. Any time you see an interesting-looking pitcher like this available on waivers (and he still has minor league options remaining, which means the team chose him, specifically, to bounce from the 40-man roster even though they could have kept him heading into the next season even if he didn’t make the big league roster), it makes you wonder if the upside is still there.
For now, I’m intrigued. After the addition, the Cubs still have one open spot on the 40-man roster.