Report: Cubs sign Tyler Duffey to minor-league deal

USA Today

The Chicago Cubs have agreed to terms on a minor-league contract with right-handed reliever Tyler Duffey, according to a report from Patrick Mooney from The Athletic.

The 32-year-old is looking for a fresh start after eight seasons of big league time with the Minnesota Twins, spending the last six seasons as one of Minnesota's go-to relievers after debuting in the MLB as a starter in 2015.

Duffey had the most productive seasons of his career from 2019 to 2021, headlined by a prolific 1.88 ERA and 0.792 WHIP across 22 games in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. 

After posting a solid 134 ERA+ and 3.18 ERA in 62.1 innings as a Twin in 2021, Duffey took a noticeable step back in 2022. The right-hander appeared in 40 games for Minnesota last year, posting an ERA just under 5 with eight home runs allowed in just 44 innings.

Duffey was then released by the Twins in August and later signed minor-league deals with the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees. The 32-year-old was unable to make it back to the big leagues with either club in 2022, as he posted a 5.73 ERA across 11 innings of work for the New York and Texas AAA affiliates.

Receiving an invite to spring training, Duffey's acquisition fits the mold of many of the Cubs' reliever signings in recent years after making a mid-season splash in 2019 by signing Craig Kimbrel to a three-year deal.

With plenty of uncertainty in the North Siders' bullpen as Codi Heuer looks to bounce back from injury and newcomer Brad Boxberger hoping to fit in as a high-leverage arm, Duffey's acquisition gives the Cubs another depth option with limited risk and hopes that he could regain the near-elite form he showed just a few seasons ago.


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