Chicago Cubs claim Luke Farrell, designate Felix Pena for assignment

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 30: Felix Pena
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 30: Felix Pena /

In a bit of a surprising move this week, the Chicago Cubs parted ways with a once-promising reliever, while adding some depth to the organization.

With the attention of fans locked on the NLDS taking place at Nationals Park, the Chicago Cubs pulled the trigger on a roster move this week. The club added Luke Farrell from the Cincinnati Reds, while designating Felix Pena for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.

Farrell, the son of Boston Red Sox skipper John Farrell, made his major league debut with the Royals this year, before being traded to the Dodgers in late July. Then, in early August, the Reds claimed Farrell off waivers, where he saw some major league time in Cincinnati.

Shortly after the season ended, the Cubs picked up Farrell. During his time in the majors, the 26-year-old posted a 6.75 ERA with just eight strikeouts.

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Pena, meanwhile, had a bit of a rough go in the majors, posting a 4.98 ERA over 36 appearances. He gave up nine home runs in 43 innings, walking 21 and striking out 50. He has a nice arsenal of pitches, though.

He features a fastball that runs from 96 to 98 mph with a decent breaking ball. Location tends to be an issue, but he has shown some flashes of being a serviceable major league pitcher, and should get scooped up by another team.

Organizational depth

As for Farrell’s future, he may just simply be a depth piece in the minors, who will come up when injuries hit. He may prove to be the latest experiment for Chris Bosio, as well. Perhaps a starter-turned-reliever?

It’s no secret the Cubs have been looking for more pitching in multiple roles. That was alleviated a bit when they acquired Jose Quintana, who has looked like his old self recently. Expect the Cubbies to be “in” on Lance Lynn, as well.

Chicago appears likely to lose Wade Davis, though, and the closer role is a bit of a cloud heading into next year. Justin Wilson has closing experience, but he hasn’t looked pitched well since joining the team.

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Mike Montgomery is likely to be a full-time rotation member next season. Could Farrell be the swing guy between the bullpen and rotation? If he develops like the Cubs hope he can, sure. After all, you can never have too much depth, and this team has plenty of it.