The Cubs are bringing Bob Howry back. They signed him to a major league deal today in the hopes that he can stabilize their bullpen and his career. They designated David Patton for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster and will option Justin Berg to the minors to create space on the active roster. Earlier in the week, the D'Backs released Howry, who used to set-up for the Cubs. The right-hander posted a 10.67 ERA in 14 appearances this year before the D'Backs had had enough of their $2.25MM investment.
MLBTR reported the signing after Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reported that the Cubs were interested in signing Howry and that the sides were close to a deal. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the Cubs expected Howry to join the team today. MLB.com's Carrie Muskat reported the details of the roster moves (via Twitter).
Cubs GM Jim Hendry had said that Cubs were on the lookout for right-handed relief, and he had many options to consider. The trade market has yet to fully develop, so Hendry went back to Howry, a reliever whose work he knows well. Howry posted a 3.90 ERA in 228.2 innings with the Cubs from 2006-08. Back then, Howry was much more effective than he was in Arizona this year. Still, his career numbers, especially those against right-handers (6.7 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9), suggest he's capable of better things.