Cubs News

Cubs agree to terms with former All-Star reliever

1 month agoAndy Martinez

The Cubs pulled off a minor-league signing that they hope will have a major-league impact on their bullpen.

The Cubs signed righty reliever Jorge López to a minor-league contract, per the team’s transactions page. López was designated for assignment on May 30 by the Mets and then released.

That move was done after López threw his glove into the stands in frustration after an outing and quotes that were lost in translation a bit. López was quoted after the game saying the Mets were the worst team — but he clarified them later saying he said he was “the worst teammate in the entire league.”

The 31-year-old was a key leverage reliever for the Mets — he had a 3.76 ERA and 1.37 WHIP with 2 saves and 6 holds. He was an All-Star in 2022 with the Orioles — he had a 1.68 ERA in 44 games and was traded to the Twins at the deadline.

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But the righty has struggled a bit since then. He posted a 5.95 ERA in 2023 with the Twins, Marlins and Orioles. López led the Mets in appearances (28), so that availability could be an added benefit to a Cubs’ bullpen that has struggled for stability.

Entering Wednesday’s games, the Cubs bullpen has the third-most blown saves (14) and is 24th in both ERA (4.47) and WHIP (1.37). Last year’s closer, Adbert Alzolay, struggled, was demoted from the role and eventually landed on the 60-day IL with a strained flexor tendon. Yency Almonte and Julian Merryweather, another two crucial relievers, also are on the IL.

Manager Craig Counsell has really only had Mark Leiter Jr. and Héctor Neris to depend on in leverage situations this season. Hayden Wesneski (2.68 ERA, 1.05 WHIP) has become a trusted reliever, too, for Counsell.

López was assigned to the Arizona Complex League, per his MLB profile page. He’ll start there and hope to work his way up to be a factor in the Cubs’ major-league bullpen picture.

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