For the second time this week, a Cubs reliever was allowed to hang out there in a close game, to see if he could get it together, and ultimately turned a close one into a blowout. The first time, it was Jason Adam, who just hasn’t been the guy we saw last year, and he was thereafter optioned out to the alternate site. The second time, it was Brandon Workman, who was trying to bounce back from an ugly 2020 with the Red Sox and Phillies. And he, too, is now on his way out, designated for assignment today in favor of Justin Steele.
Workman hasn’t really had the command needed for success this year – the fastball is all over the place, which makes his hammer curve not nearly as successful as it should be. After that last outing where he simply looked exasperated with himself, the Cubs have DFA’d him. They’ll have seven days to trade, release, or waive him. Waiving him seems most likely, and if he clears, he’ll then have to decide if he’d rather stick with the Cubs at Triple-A for a while, or if he wants to head back out into free agency. The Cubs signed him this offseason to an incentive-laden one-year, $1 million deal.
In Workman’s place, lefty Justin Steele is returning. We always knew he’d come back – likely up and down all year – and so far, he’s been pretty darn impressive in his limited Cubs debut season.
Incidental to the Workman DFA, the Cubs have opened up a 40-man roster spot that they could use eventually to add a guy like Pedro Strop, or to activate Tyson Miller off the COVID-related IL eventually (as I understand it, he’s still on that list, and doesn’t count against the 40-man at the moment).