Cubs sign LHP Brian Duensing to one-year, $2 million contract
Duensing, 33, pitched last season for the Orioles and in 14 games he was 1-0 with a 4.05 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 4.27 FIP. Duensing turns 34 on Feb. 22.
The Cubs have not confirmed signing Brian Duensing to a one-year contract. Once the team confirms, the Cubs’ 40-man roster will stand at 39 players.
Updated 5:11pm CST – The Cubs have confirmed and announced signing LHP Brian Duensing to a one-year contract.
Brian Duensing spent the first seven years of his big league career with the Twins. Duensing was selected in the third round of the 2005 draft and made his Major League debut in April 2009. Duensing was 41-37 with a 4.13 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and 4.07 FIP in 354 games, 61 starts, over seven seasons with the Twins.
Duensing is 42-37 with two saves, 45 holds, a 4.13 ERA (304 earned runs in 662.2 innings), a 1.38 WHIP and a 4.08 FIP in 368 major league appearances (307 in relief, 61 as a starter) covering eight major league seasons with the Minnesota Twins (2009-15) and Baltimore Orioles (2016). In his career, he has limited left-handed hitters to a .236 batting average (205-for-867), a .286 on-base percentage and a .328 slugging percentage, good for a .614 opponent OPS. Duensing has walked only 50 of the 946 left-handed hitters he has faced, an average of one walk per 19 plate appearances.
The 6-foot, 200-pound Duensing has pitched exclusively in relief the last four seasons, going 14-6 with a 3.86 ERA (76 earned runs in 177.1 innings) in 204 outings in that span. He joined Baltimore last year but made only seven appearances (5.40 ERA) before placed on the disabled list in June with bone chips in his left elbow, requiring surgery. Upon his return in September, Duensing pitched to a 2.70 ERA in seven relief outings down the stretch, limiting foes to a .167/.200/.250 slash line.
Duensing broke into the majors with Minnesota in 2009 and was 10-3 with a 2.62 ERA (38 earned runs in 130.2 innings) and a 1.20 WHIP in 53 appearances (13 starts) a year later in 2010. He was a swingman for the first four years of his career before settling into a relief role in 2013, totaling a career-best 73 appearances that season.
Duensing limited left-handers to a .190/.190/.429 line in 12 games last season with a .619 OPS. Right-handers hit .290/.353/.419 with a .772 OPS. Duensing is a lefty specialist at this point of his career.
The Cubs are exploring ways to add left-handed relievers to the roster and were able to ink Brian Duensing to a one-year contract.