This looked like a 50/50 shot earlier today, but when word broke that the Cubs had declined their option on Kendall Graveman, it was all the more likely they would want to hang onto Colin Rea as depth.
Per a source, the Cubs will add RHP Colin Rea to the 40-man roster today.
Rea went 14-4, 3.95 ERA in 148 IP for Triple-A Iowa last season. Was surprised he wasn't added at some point as a callup last year. Missed 2017 after TJ surgery.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) November 4, 2019
(Don’t let that ERA fool you, either – in the PCL this year, that was the second-best ERA in the league.)
Rea, 29, was at one time a quality prospect in the Padres’ system, but a failed trade to the Marlins and Tommy John surgery later (yeah, he was that guy who was traded, but it was later revealed the Padres were hiding medical info), he became a free agent in need of a place to get starts and show he was healthy. The Cubs gave him that opportunity, and he wound up pitching exceptionally well at AAA:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) August 29, 2019
Rea’s style is more control and contact-management than pure stuff, so it’s debatable whether he can pitch effectively in the big leagues without an uptick in stuff. Another year removed from surgery, though? It’s possible.
In any case, he’s a 29-year-old former quality prospect who got great results at AAA this year, has minor league options remaining, and now can be a depth starting piece for the Cubs in 2020. Good.
The 40-man roster stands at 32.