A few hours before the 2020 Cubs Convention kicked off, Theo Epstein's front office was hard at work adding another pitcher to the bullpen mix.
It's not a big name fans are itching for, but the Cubs acquired right-handed pitcher Casey Sadler from the Dodgers Friday afternoon. The Cubs sent minor-league infielder Clayton Daniel to LA in return.
Sadler, 29, was designated for assignment by his former team earlier in the week. He has 42 career MLB appearances under his belt, 33 of which came last season between the Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays (1 start).
Sadler performed well in 2019, posting a 4-0 record, 2.14 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, but only had 31 strikeouts in 46.1 innings. He had more success missing bats in Triple-A, with 12.3 K/9 in 38.2 innings last year.
This brings the Cubs' 40-man roster to 39 with a little less than a month before pitchers and catchers report to spring training. The move fits the theme of the offseason where Epstein and Co. are taking fliers on all the buy-low pitchers they can as a volume-game approach to building a pitching staff.
Sadler is out of minor-league options, so he should get a shot at cracking the big-league bullpen out of camp.
At the moment, Craig Kimbrel, Rowan Wick, Kyle Ryan and Brad Wieck look like the only locks for the Opening Day bullpen, but a host of others will be in the mix in Arizona, including:
Ryan Tepera (free agent)
Trevor Megill (Rule 5 pick)
Dan Winkler (free agent)
CD Pelham (waiver pickup)
Brandon Morrow (minor-league free agent)
Duane Underwood Jr. (out of minor-league options)
Alec Mills (out of options)
There are a lot of question marks building a bullpen out of that group, especially considering the proven names the Cubs lost from last year's club (Steve Cishek, Pedro Strop, Brandon Kintzler).
Daniel, 24, was the Cubs' 31st-round pick in 2018 out of Jacksonville State University. He reached Double-A Tennessee last season and hit .305 with a .799 OPS, 2 homers and 21 RBI in 67 minor-league games a year ago.
Jeff Nelson, Tim Stebbins, and Tony Andracki fill in for host David Kaplan as they discuss how different this year's Cubs convention will be compared to previous years and how awkward it will be for Kris Bryant and other players who could be traded before the season. They also get into baseball's cheating issue, and Tony Andracki makes a huge announcement.
(1:08) - Different feel at Cubs Con
(3:10) - Cubs putting Kris Bryant in an awkward spot
(4:44) - Anthony Rizzo says he might not be a Cub long term
(6:33) - How will Cubs fans show displeasure at Cubs Con
(10:24) - What will it take for Sammy Sosa to be accepted by the Cubs
(13:54) - Baseball's cheating scandal is spreading
(20:07) - Tony Andracki's BIG announcement
Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below: