In a move which should come as no surprise, the Cubs announced this morning that they have designated Randy Wells for assignment.
Wells failed to make it out of the fourth inning last night against the Mets. The 29-year-old right-hander gave up three runs and issued four walks, including one to opposing pitcher Dillon Gee, who was trying to give him an out with a sacrifice bunt.
Wells posted a 3.02 ERA as a rookie back in 2009, but he hasn’t come anywhere close to the same success since. After being limited to 23 starts last season due to a forearm injury, he has an ugly 5.34 ERA and 14/24 K/BB ratio over 28 2/3 innings this year.
Wells is making $2.705 million this season as a first-time arbitration-eligible player, so he should pass through waivers easily. As Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com notes, today’s move clears a spot on the 40-man roster for Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, who should officially sign with the Cubs within the next few days.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.