A byproduct of the Eddie Butler acquisition was that the Cubs had to bump someone from the 40-man roster to make room. And, being that it’s often a “last in, first out” situation at this point in the offseason, righty Dylan Floro got the designated-for-assignment boot.
But, of course, that’s not always the end for a player in the organization – a DFA gives a team 7 days (down from 10 days, thanks to the new CBA) to trade, waive, or release a player. So it was with Floro, who apparently cleared waivers and was subsequently outrighted off the 40-man roster to AAA Iowa. It’s a win-win for the Cubs, who got to open up the roster spot and also get to keep Floro in the organization.
It is at this point in the short post that you’re wondering, but are hesitant to admit … “who’s Dylan Floro again?”
Three weeks ago, the Cubs claimed Floro off of waivers from the Rays, and here was the gist:
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.
Given that Floro cleared waivers – an opportunity for all other teams to grab him free and clear, so long as they were willing to put him on the 40-man roster – I would guess that those questions about the health of Floro’s arm persist in the minds of other teams.
Carrie Muskat reports that Floro will still get a non-roster invite to Spring Training, so the Cubs will have plenty of time to observe him before the season begins.