Chicago Cubs claim pitcher Ian Clarkin off waivers — again

(Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images) /

For the third time this offseason, a Chicago baseball team has claimed left-hander Ian Clarkin off of waivers. For now, he’s back with the Chicago Cubs.

Ian Clarkin’s offseason has been rather comical to date, but at least he’s gotten a fair share of rides in on the Red Line. Okay, Clarkin hasn’t literally ridden the Red Line, but a Chicago baseball team claimed him on waivers for the third time this offseason on Wednesday. This time, it’s the Chicago Cubs who added the 23-year-old to their roster.

After spending the 2018 season in the Chicago White Sox farm system, the Cubs claimed Clarkin off waivers on Nov. 20. The move was somewhat comedic at the time, as the Cubs were taking a player from their city rival.

South to Sox-35th

Just six days later, though, and the White Sox got the final laugh. The South Siders claimed Clarkin back off of waivers from the Cubs on Nov. 26, ending the pitcher’s Cubs career after just one week.

Fortunately for Clarkin, all that the White Sox re-claiming meant (in terms of getting to work) was taking the Red Line the other direction. The Holiday’s then came, and the pitcher finally knew what franchise he’d play with in 2019.

Except, true to how this story has gone, that was not the end. The White Sox signed reliever Kelvin Herrera on Jan. 8, which then required freeing up a roster spot to make room for him. Guess whose roster spot Herrera got? Clarkin’s, of course!

North to Addison

That brings us to Wednesday, where the game of hot potato continues with the Cubs re-claiming Clarkin. The move puts the Cubs’ 40-man roster at 39 players, but it’ll probably soon be 38 when it’s the White Sox turn to claim Clarkin.

In all seriousness, Clarkin — who has never pitched a single big league inning — could be a low-key solid pitcher for the Cubs. In 81 career Minor League games (66 starts), he has posted a 3.55 ERA in 349 2/3 innings.

While Clarkin’s 2018 numbers in the White Sox farm system don’t look great (4.76 ERA, 25 games/12 starts, 85 innings), he was brilliant in the second half. In nine games, he delivered a 1.80 ERA, striking out 14 batters in 20 innings.

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Spring Training is less than a month away, Ian. Here’s to hoping you don’t get claimed on waivers again. If the White Sox claim you, though, see if they’ll pay for your Ventra fare.