Cubs have signed lefty reliever


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Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs and left-handed pitcher Brian Duensing have agreed to terms on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Duensing, 33, is 42-37 with two saves, 45 holds and a 4.13 ERA (304 ER/662.2 IP) 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 ER/177.1 IP) 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. Overall last season, Duensing limited left-handed hitters to a .190 batting average with no walks allowed.

Duensing broke into the majors with Minnesota in 2009 and was 10-3 with a 2.62 ERA (38 ER/130.2 IP) 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.

A native of Marysville, Kansas, Duensing was originally selected by Minnesota in the third round of the 2005 Draft out of the University of Nebraska.

Chicago’s 40-man roster stands at 39 players.

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