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Chicago Cubs claim RHP Dylan Floro off waivers from Tampa Bay

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The Chicago Cubs made a small addition Tuesday afternoon, claiming pitcher Dylan Floro off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Chicago Cubs have added another reliever to their increasingly crowded bullpen.

In a small move on Tuesday afternoon, the Cubs claimed right-handed pitcher Dylan Floro off waivers from the Rays according to the Chicago Tribune. With the addition, the team’s 40-man roster now stands at 39 players.

Drafted in the 12th round of the 2012 MLB Draft, Floro made his MLB debut in 2016 with the Rays. Despite being a starting pitcher in the minor leagues, the Rays used him exclusively as a reliever in 2016.

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In 12 appearances (15.0 innings) with the Rays, Floro went 0-1 with a 4.20 ERA. Opponents hit .348 off of him, although he did strikeout 14 batters.

While his numbers with the Rays last season are unimpressive, there seems to be hope for Floro with the Cubs. From 2012-2016, he went 36-30 with a 3.30 ERA in the minor leagues. In fact, his ERA in 2012, 2013 and 2016 was sub-3.00, a positive sign for the right hander’s potential.

Potential

Floro turned 26 in December, so he is still is a very young pitcher. Although he had a rough start to his big league career, 2016 was an extremely small sample size.

While his MLB career did not start so hot, Floro’s 2016 season was not a total wash. In 32 minor league appearances (50.0 innings), he pitched to a 2.88 ERA; this should not go unnoticed, especially considering that Triple-A baseball is full of good hitting.

At the very least, Floro’s addition gives the Cubs increased pitching depth. While teams can never have too much pitching depth, Floro seems to have a higher ceiling than this. Of course, many players have had great success in the minor leagues, only to underwhelm in the majors.

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If the Cubs promote Floro and he manages to replicate his minor league numbers, this addition could turn into a huge steal. The Cubs could lose 2/5 of their starting rotation after 2017, as Jake Arrieta and John Lackey will be free agents.

Of course, losing both Arrieta and Lackey is a worst case scenario for the Cubs. At the same time, though, Floro has proven he can be a successful starting pitcher in the minor leagues. If Arrieta and/or Lackey leave, Floro could be an instant solution.

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