The Cubs announced to reporters, including Maddie Lee of the Chicago Sun-Times, that right-hander Edwin Uceta has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Iowa. There hadn’t been any previous indication he had been designated for assignment, so this move will drop the club’s 40-man roster count to 37.
Uceta, 25, has filled up the transaction logs in the past year. He finished last year with the Diamondbacks but has since gone to the Tigers, Pirates, Mets and Cubs on waiver claims, before now finally passing through unclaimed. Despite all of those claims, he’s only been able to make one major league appearance this year, a three-inning scoreless outing with the Mets. He missed much of the season due to surgery to address a torn meniscus in his left knee. Around those waiver claims and the injury issues, he’s only tossed 8 2/3 innings in the minors this year.
He has likely continued to draw interest based on his strikeout stuff in the minors in previous seasons. He’s now tossed 84 1/3 Triple-A innings with a 29% strikeout rate but an uninspiring 5.12 ERA thanks to a 13.1% walk rate.
By being the club to pass Uceta through waivers, the Cubs will be able to retain him without him taking up a roster spot. He lacks the three years of service time or previous career outright to reject an outright assignment and elect free agency. However, he will qualify for minor league free agency at season’s end if he’s still not on the roster. He’ll be out of options next year but still has five years of club control remaining.