On Tuesday, the Seattle Mariners confirmed that they have claimed RHP Ryan Jensen off waivers from the Chicago Cubs, meaning the team lost him for basically nothing.
Jensen was the Cubs' first-round pick in the 2019 draft and they took him 27th overall. The 25-year-old finally made his way to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs this year, but he struggled mightily. Even after transitioning to the bullpen earlier in the year, Jensen had an ugly 6.10 ERA in 20.2 innings in relief at Iowa. This was enough for the Cubs to apparently put him on waivers and the Mariners snatched him up believing they can fix the hard-throwing right-hander.
The Cubs had enough faith in Jensen to protect him from the Rule 5 draft by adding him to the 40-man roster last November. He certainly has a high ceiling, with a two-seam fastball that tops out at 98 mph. But his command troubles overshadowed his potential as he is issuing almost eight walks for every 9 innings pitched this year.
The Cubs could be looking to make room on their 40-man roster and making room for one of their other pitchers in Iowa. Someone who can come in and help stabilize the big league bullpen, which is getting worked extremely hard lately. Jordan Wicks, Cam Sanders, and Bailey Horn are all likely candidates to soon make their big-league debut and help the Cubs down the stretch.
Jensen's departure is not all that surprising but how it happened was a little out of nowhere. Hopefully, the Mariners can unlock something in the young pitcher because he was just unable to reach his true potential with the Cubs. He was ranked the Cubs' number 27 prospect when the Mariners claimed him.