Cubs sign veteran left-handed reliever Brian Matusz to a Minor League contract
According to multiple reports, the Cubs have signed veteran lefty reliever Brian Matusz to a minor league contract.
Matusz, 29, appeared in seven games for the Orioles this season and allowed eight runs on 11 hits with seven walks and a strikeout in six innings (12.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, 12.78 FIP). Matusz served up three home runs to the 35 batters he faced.
The Orioles traded Matusz to the Braves, along with 2016 competitive balance round pick B, for Brandon Barker and Trevor Belicek on May 23. The Braves assumed the remainder of the $3.9 million salary owed to Matusz and designed him for assignment the next day. The Braves released Matusz on June 1.
The Braves made it known they were willing to take on team’s bad contracts for draft picks. And the Orioles took them up on the offer and parted ways with Matusz.
The Cubs have been linked to Brian Matusz for several years. Signing Matusz to a minor league contract does not come as a surprise and was expected as soon as the Braves released him.
Brian Matusz is a year removed from posting a 1-4 record in 58 games out of the Orioles bullpen with a 2.94 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 3.58 FIP. Matusz gave up 18 runs, 16 earned, on 38 hits with 20 walks and 56 strikeouts in 49 innings. And Matusz held lefties to a .565 OPS in 2015.
Left-handers hit only .186/.231/.333 against Matusz with a .565 OPS in 54 games, 108 plate appearances. Matusz allowed right-handers to hit .244/.375/.346 with a .727 OPS.
This is another low-risk move to add a veteran reliever to the organization to see if he can help the Cubs win ballgames.
Updated 1:18pm CDT – According to Roch Kubatko, Brian Matusz agreed to terms on his contract with the Cubs over the weekend and passed his physical on Monday. Matusz will report to Triple-A Iowa and is “expected to be used as a starter.”
Kubatko reported that multiple teams were interested in Matusz as a starter. Matusz signed with the Cubs because of former teammates Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel and Pedro Strop.