The Chicago Cubs added depth to the left side of their bullpen Wednesday night by signing free agent left-hander Wesley Wright to a one-year contract believed to be for $1.425 million, first reported by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale and confirmed by Chicago Tribune Cubs beat writer Mark Gonzales.
Wright, 28, was not tendered a contract by the Tampa Bay Rays Monday evening and is represented by Reynolds Sports Management. He posted a combined 3.69 ERA in 70 combined games with the Houston Astros and Rays, striking out 55 over 53 2/3 innings pitched. After being claimed off waivers by the Rays in August he posted a 2.92 ERA and 0.973 WHIP in 16 appearances.
The left-hander was originally selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 7th round of 2003 amateur draft. In six seasons, he has posted a 4.37 ERA and when facing left-handed hitters, he has posted a career 3.11 K:BB ratio while surrendering only a .655 OPS and .231 ERA, compared to .266 against right-handed batters.
Wright will pitch from the Cubs bullpen alongside fellow southpaw James Russell, who has appeared in 151 games over the past two seasons. For his career, he has held left-handed hitters to a .231/.313/.342 line, with just seven home runs in 506 plate appearances.
Chicago is still looking for a closer to replace Kevin Gregg, who is a free agent. The signing leaves the Cubs’ 40-man roster at 38.