Cubs take a flyer on former All-Star closer in hopes of bolstering bullpen

One day after Hector Neris blew a save against the Rays, Jed Hoyer made a move to add a potential impact arm to the mix.
Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets
Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

In an effort to address a bullpen that seems to have an inability to shut the door late in close games, the Chicago Cubs signed former All-Star closer Jorge López to a minor league deal. The signing comes a couple weeks after the New York Mets designated him for assignment after a dramatic exit from an appearance, when he hurled his glove into the stands leaving the mound and later went viral for his postgame comments.

Looking past that incident that honestly remains a little unclear (at least in terms of what exactly he said after the game), it's a move that perfectly embodies Jed Hoyer's approach to roster construction: buying low on a guy who showed flashes years

Cubs are clearly hoping Jorge López can put his dramatic exit from New York behind him and recapture his former dominance

At least in this instance, López was dominant just two years ago as a late-inning weapon for the Orioles, earning the first and only All-Star selection of his career with a 1.68 ERA before Baltimore traded him to Minnesota ahead of the trade deadline. Since that trade, the right-hander has bounced around the league as a pretty ineffective bullpen arm, pitching for the Mets, Marlins, Orioles since last summer.

Taking a quick spin through his Baseball Savant page, he kept the ball on the ground relatively well this year with New York, has that mid-90s velocity you like to see in the late innings and a solid slider, but those are really the only bright spots. The 31-year-old outperformed his 4.66 FIP by nearly a full run (3.67 ERA) in 28 appearances so it's hard to expect him to flip a switch and all of the sudden be the guy he was back in 2022.

As Hoyer pointed out on Tuesday in comments to the media, it's still far too early to realistically expect teams to make impact trades. After all, the trade deadline isn't until July 30 and the wild card picture in both leagues remains very crowded. For now, it's capitalizing on these recently DFAd pieces like López and Tyson Miller (who has a 0.96 ERA in eight appearances since coming to the Cubs) and hoping they can help you keep things on an even keel as the first half winds down.