The Cubs have signed reliever Aaron Crow to a minor league pact, the club told reporters including Mark Gonzalez of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter links). Chicago also has released lefty Luis Cruz after he failed his physical.
Crow, a 29-year-old righty, spent last year with the Marlins organization after being acquired from the Royals. He was only available to Miami because he scuffled in 2014, with his strikeout and groundball rates plummeting along with his velocity. And as things turned out, Crow he never threw a competitive pitch for the team. He ultimately required Tommy John surgery, leading to a non-tender earlier this offseason.
Before that, though, Crow had done some quality work in the back of the Kansas City pen. Over 2011-13, he ran up 174 2/3 innings of 3.19 ERA pitching while carrying 9.0 K/9 against 3.9 BB/9 and inducing grounders on more than half of the balls put in play against him. If he can make it back to anything like that level of production, he’d obviously make for quite a bargain for the Cubs.
The 25-year-old Cruz had been a member of the Astros organization for his entire career to date. But he lost his 40-man spot after throwing 116 innings of 4.27 ERA ball at Triple-A last year, with 7.2 K/9 against 4.0 BB/9. Chicago had picked him up on a minor league deal, but has now nullified that contract owing to the medicals.
Plummeting ground ball rates and plummeting velocity……not good.
But in Theo and Jed I trust…….I guess.
Why did he fail his physical?
Need to know basis, I guess. We don’t need to know.
I wonder if Kansas City extended an offer to Crow? He pitched well for the Royals for a number of years, and I did not get the impression he was in a dog house within the organization. Plus he pitched at Mizzou, giving the Royals the home town bonus.
The Royals traded him due to a numbers crunch issue plus his escalating arbitration salary. The numbers crunch issue is still there, but now that arbitration is not a factor for 2016 I would have expected the Royals to be willing to offer him about $2M if he made the club and stuck. Just speculating, but maybe he did not think he was likely to make the Royals 25-man roster? Or maybe the Cubs offer came with a lot of incentive money?
He factors into one of my few “when I was brilliant” baseball stories. I saw him pitch his last year at Mizzou. Both he and Kyle Gibson were in the weekend rotation. Crow was getting all the draft buzz, but after seeing them both pitch I thought Gibson looked to be obviously the better of the two. Crow was very solid, but just did not have an out pitch even at the college level. One of the few times I was right.
Cubs needs to sign Hollander to a 2 year minor league deal formerly of the Royals