Cubs lefty Rex Brothers rejected an outright assignment after clearing waivers and has instead opted for free agency, tweets Gordon Wittenmyer of NBC Sports Chicago. The Cubs have also reinstated James Norwood, Manuel Rodriguez and Brad Wieck from the 45-day injured list, bringing their current 40-man roster to 34 players.
Brothers, 33, pitched in just three games for the Cubs in 2020 and has had much of a sample of MLB work since his 2017 run with the Braves. The former Rockies prospect was the No. 34 overall pick back and got out to a nice start through three seasons in Colorado before his already shaky control got out of hand in 2014.
Over the past six years, Brothers has bounced around between the Rockies, Yankees, Braves and Cubs organizations. He’s seen intermittent action at the big league level en route to a 5.77 ERA and 101-to-64 K/BB ratio in 93 1/3 frames in that time. Brothers’ heater averaged 95.3 mph in this year’s tiny sample of innings. That velocity from the left side should get him another look as a minor league depth option with another club.
Norwood, 26, missed most of the season due to shoulder troubles. The 24-year-old Rodriguez didn’t appear in the big leagues this year but went on the 60-day IL due to a biceps strain late in the year, giving the Cubs some late flexibility on the roster. Wieck, 29, went down with a hamstring strain after one game and did not return.