Cubs land former Mets reliever
David Richard - USA Today Sports

Cubs land former Mets reliever


by - Senior Writer -

Well, there was some unexpected news on Wednesday afternoon: the Cubs and left-hander Jorge Lopez have reached an agreement for the remainder of the season. Granted, this is another Minor League deal that most fans aren't going to be happy about, but this one comes with the most upside. Lopez was on the New York Mets roster earlier this season before tossing his glove into the stands and being released a few days later.

For those still wondering who Lopez is, that sums it up in a nutshell as the long-time veteran was ejected from a game earlier this season and then proceeded to throw his glove into stands walking off the field. To make matters worse, Lopez went on to make some comments about the Mets organization and his situation with the team, which made it easy for the two sides to part ways.

After sitting on the free agent market for the last few weeks, Lopez waited for the right opportunity to come up and bounced on this shot to join the Cubs. This is one of those minor-league deals that comes with plenty of upside. The 31-year-old Lopez has not only been around for a while but has also had plenty of success along his career, making this a low-cost signing that was too hard to pass up.

The numbers for his career may not look great, as he has gone 23-42 with a 5.42 ERA, but it was the work he was doing this season that stood out. Prior to his release from the Mets, Lopez appeared in 28 games, compiling 26 innings and going 1-2 with a 3.76 ERA. He walked 11 and struck out 19, but he did what was asked of him to do, which is all you can ask for.

With the Cubs bullpen continuing to struggle, adding Lopez to a minor league deal makes a ton of sense, as he can spend the next few weeks getting back into baseball shape before potentially coming up to the bigs to get another shot in someone's pen.

Given how his tenure ended with the Mets, Lopez isn't a lock to make it back to the bigs, if he does at all, and he will have to put in the work to have that opportunity again. The Cubs organization is entirely different from the Mets', so it will take some time to get used to how they run things. Once he gets acclimated to the Cubs and their system, it then becomes a game of routine as Lopez will not only have to get back into his regular routine but will have to follow the Cubs plan for him going forward.

This is one of those signings that may not get your juices flowing immediately, but it is one to keep track of, as it will be interesting to see where it goes. Should Lopez come in with a new mindset and be willing to put in the work, this has the potential to be a true redemption story, which is something the Cubs could use this season, given how the year has gone for them.

For now, look for Lopez to wind up in AAA, as he is expected to join their bullpen by the end of this week or early next week. What his role will be there remains to be seen, but this guy can fill a variety of roles if needed. Sure, his success hasn't always been there, but he pitched well this season, and his versatility alone gives the Cubs plenty to think about before using him.

Lopez has minimal experience as a setup man and a closer, so expect them to use him in low-leverage situations for now. Instead, his best days have come as a middle reliever, as he was this season, or one of those matchup pitchers specifically inserted into a game to face a particular spot in the lineup. Craig Counsell loves those types of arms (Mark Leiter Jr) and, for the most part, has had success with them going back to his Milwaukee days.

Let's see if the Cubs can work their magic on this one and get him back into the bigs once again.

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