What did you accomplish on this lovely Friday afternoon? Did you daydream about the weekend?
Well, the Cubs front office didn’t!
Instead, according to Chris Cotillo on Twitter, they were busy bolstering the Cubs bullpen depth, with the 34-year-old righty, Jim Henderson:
Cubs are signing reliever Jim Henderson, source tells SB Nation.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) January 20, 2017
And according to a later tweet from Cotillo, the deal is of the Minor League variety, meaning the overall risk here is pretty low. Not bad.
A little history: Although he was originally drafted by the Expos (26th round of the 2003 draft) Henderson has actually been a Cubs farmhand before. Selected in the 2006 Rule 5 Draft, Henderson pitched for the Cubs Double and Triple-A affiliates from 2007-2008, before moving onto the Brewers (2009-2015) and eventually the Mets (2016) organizations later on.
Some recent stats: In 2016, he tossed 35 innings in relief over 44 appearances for the Mets, collecting a 4.37 ERA (4.83 FIP) in the process. He maintained a very strong 25.8% strikeout rate (ding-ding-ding), while keeping his walk rate at fine 9.0%. However, he was pretty terrible at inducing ground balls (25.5%) and allowed quite a bit of home runs (1.80 per nine innings, which would have ranked 7th worst overall if he had enough innings to qualify).
In addition, lefties have crushed Henderson for his career (.349 wOBA), while he’s actually handled righties fairly well (.271 wOBA).
And a conclusion: Presumably, Henderson will compete for a spot in an admittedly crowded bullpen picture this Spring, before heading to Triple-A Iowa to serve as depth. Given his ability to get righties out fairly well, however, he might not be a bad depth option should tragedy strike the Cubs bullpen. As far as low risk, depth-improving moves go, Henderson is one of them.