Chicago Cubs Sign Righty Aaron Crow to Minor League Deal, Release Lefty Luis Cruz

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Chicago Cubs Sign Righty Aaron Crow to Minor League Deal, Release Lefty Luis Cruz

Chicago Cubs

chicago cubs logo featureThe extreme influx of depth, reclamation, and generally-interesting arms continues.

Today, Jesse Rogers and Bruce Levine report that the Chicago Cubs are signing righty Aaron Crow to a minor league deal.

If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Crow, 29, was an excellent reliever for the Royals back in 2011 to 2013 after being selected twice in the first round of the MLB draft in 2008 and 2009.

Crow struggled mightily in 2014 before being traded to the Marlins after the season, though he never threw a pitch for the team. Instead, an elbow injury necessitated Tommy John surgery in April 2015, and he’s been rehabbing since.

Given that his fastball velocity was way down in 2014, it’s fair to wonder if his struggles were ultimately related to an arm issue that didn’t fully and finally manifest itself until spring last year. If so, now that he’s post surgery, there could be reasonable hope for Crow to return to his 2011-13 form, since he’s still plenty young enough and has the talent.

Crow’s return to competitive action probably figures to see him pitching in the minor leagues come April or May, and the Cubs will see where he is at that point, and what their own needs are. Crow’s is a great, low-risk arm to have in the fold.

UPDATE: Kinda relatedly, so I’ll include it here, the Cubs have also released lefty Luis Cruz, who’d previously been signed to a minor league deal, but did not pass his physical (Carrie Muskat). That’s a bummer, as Cruz was a guy who could have legitimately been stashed and groomed in the minor leagues a bit (unlike many other veterans who have various opt-out rights if they don’t make the big league team).

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.