You know the drill by now – I mean, I just said it earlier today with the Joe Biagini signing: “The Chicago Cubs haven’t done a ton yet this offseason to make firm and fast additions to the big league roster, but they have certainly done what we expected them to do on the bullpen side of things: accumulate interesting, upside arms on the cheap. Don’t read that as a criticism, either. They’ve been good at it for a couple years now, and I’m not going to start betting against the approach: get a huge volume of guys in the door who do one or two things that you can’t teach, try to massage some other part of their game to get overall improvement, and figure that you can hit on maybe 20 to 30% of them.”
So now there’s another one!
This time, it’s lefty Matt Dermody, who signed a minor league deal with the Cubs, per MLBTR. Dermody was actually with the Cubs this past season after the organization plucked him from independent ball. The big Cubs fan got in just one game, but there was plenty to like about the tall 30-year-old lefty, who pitches in the mid-90s.
For all the relievers the Cubs have brought in this offseason, they’re still pretty thin on lefty options, especially given that you don’t know what you’re going to get out of Kyle Ryan and Brad Wieck next year. Here’s what we said on Dermody when the Cubs first signed him:
At 6’5″, Dermody is another super tall reliever (the Cubs seem to have targeted a lot of those guys as fringe relievers in recent years), who throws a fastball-slider combo, and who walked just 2.6% of the batters he faced at AAA last year (it was a partial year because he was coming back from May 2018 Tommy John surgery). He hasn’t found big league success yet, though, and his upper minors numbers are not overwhelming. My guess is this is a bit of a post-TJS scouting play – maybe the Cubs saw something he was doing with the Sugar Land Skeeters that they thought they could work with.
I expect the Cubs wanted to bring Dermody back all along, but perhaps he wanted a chance to see what else was out there for him after returning from indy ball. But with the Cubs the org that knew him best, and with jobs aplenty to be won in the bullpen, this seems like a good fit. Again, especially when you consider that he grew up a huge Cubs fan:
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) September 6, 2020
Dermody joins Joe Biagini (minor league signing), Trevor Kelley (minor league signing), Robert Stock (waiver claim), Jonathan Holder (big league signing), Gray Fenter (Rule 5 Draft), James Bourque (minor league signing), Jake Jewell (minor league signing), Jerry Vasto (minor league signing), and D.J. Snelten (minor league signing) as relief arms added to the organization since the offseason began.