Right-hander Spencer Patton is headed to Japan’s Yokohama BayStars, per a club announcement (via the Japan Times). The Cubs sold Patton’s contract to Yokohama, per MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat (Twitter link), and released him from the big league roster to facilitate the move.
The 28-year-old reliever has shown swing-and-miss stuff at the major league level, but hasn’t yet translated that to effective innings. Over his 54 2/3 frames in the bigs over the past three seasons, Patton has worked to a 6.26 ERA with 9.5 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9. Those free passes have combined with a few too many home runs and an unfortunate 58.5% strand rate to produce the inflated earned-run tally.
Though Patton doesn’t have a huge fastball, his slider allows him to generate plenty of whiffs, and he has long posted double-digit K/9 rates in the minors. He was rather dominant last year in his 36 Triple-A frames, posting a 0.75 ERA with 14.8 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9 while allowing just 21 base hits.
Originally a 24th-round pick by the Royals, Patton was dealt to the Rangers in the deal that sent veteran righty Jason Frasor to Kansas City in July of 2014. He ended up in Chicago in exchange for infielder Frandy De La Rosa in a swap last November.