The Cubs agreed to a minor league pact with right-hander Adrian Sampson, as Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register tweeted yesterday. The team didn’t make a formal announcement, but the 29-year-old Sampson is now listed on the roster of their top affiliate in Iowa.
Sampson has pitched in part of three big league seasons, spending some time with the Mariners in 2016 and tossing 153 frames with the Rangers from 2018-19. Sampson spent the 2020 season with the Lotte Giants of the Korea Baseball Organization, racking up 130 innings but struggling to a 5.40 ERA with just a 14.7 percent strikeout rate. He did notch a strong 6.1 percent walk rate in the KBO, in addition to a massive 65.2 percent grounder rate.
Sampson’s time in the big leagues has resulted in a 5.71 ERA through 153 innings, most of which came with the 2019 Rangers. He’s a strike-thrower, evidenced by a career 6.0 percent walk rate, but Sampson also carries a below-average 17.1 percent strikeout rate and has been extremely prone to home runs, yielding an average of 2.2 round-trippers per nine innings pitched.
It’s a depth pickup for the Cubs — one that adds another arm with big league experience to a rather veteran pitching staff in Iowa. Sampson joins new teammates Shelby Miller, Adam Morgan, Kyle Ryan and Joe Biagini veterans with more than 100 Major League innings under their belt. Kohl Stewart, Robert Stock, Ryan Meisinger and Jake Jewell have all seen big league action with other organizations as well.