Jensen Lewis assigned to Triple-A after clearing waivers

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When the Indians placed Jensen Lewis on outright waivers I figured at least one team would be willing to put in a claim on a cheap 27-year-old reliever with a 3.68 ERA in 198 career innings, but instead Lewis and his $650,000 salary have cleared waivers.

That means the Indians have successfully removed Lewis from the 40-man roster, but still keep him in the organization and have assigned him to Triple-A. Earlier this week the Twins tried something similar with Pat Neshek, but the Padres claimed him.

In four seasons in the big leagues Lewis has ERAs of 2.15, 3.82, 4.61, and 2.97, so he’s obviously an MLB-caliber reliever, but his velocity has reportedly been down this spring and the Indians have shipped him to the minors before despite his overall success. Getting back to the majors will be tougher this time, because now to call up Lewis they’ll likely have to bump someone else off the 40-man roster.

Cubs sign sinkerballer Steve Cishek

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Cubs have signed reliever Steve Cishek. No details about the deal are known yet. For what it’s worth, most relievers are signing two-year deals so far this winter and Cishek’s last deal was a two-year pact.

Cishek, 31-year-old sidearmer who throws a surprisingly fast sinkerball, posted a 2.01 ERA and a 41/14 K/BB ratio and allowed just 26 hits in 44.2 innings between the Mariners and Rays last season. He saved 25 games for the M’s in 2016. Last year he missed the first month and a half of the season following hip surgery, but seemed pretty healthy later in the year.

A nice pickup for Chicago.