The Cubs are in agreement with left-hander Thomas Pannone on a minor league deal, reports Jon Heyman of the New York Post (on X). He’ll be in major league camp as a non-roster invitee. Pannone would be paid at an $800K rate for any time on the MLB team.
Pannone returns from South Korea, where he spent a half-season with the Kia Tigers. The 29-year-old also played part of the 2022 campaign with the Tigers before returning to the affiliated ranks last offseason. He reached the majors for one game with the Brewers, working 2 2/3 innings of relief. Milwaukee granted him his release in July so he could re-sign with the Tigers.
Over 16 appearances in Korea, he worked to a 4.26 ERA across 82 1/3 frames. Pannone had a modest 18.8% strikeout rate while walking 6.6% of batters faced. It marked a step down from his KBO performance in 2022, when he’d posted a 2.72 ERA over a near-identical workload.
Before this year’s cup of coffee in Milwaukee, Pannone’s big league experience was with the Blue Jays between 2018-19. He pitched in a swing capacity for Toronto, allowing 5.43 earned runs per nine over 49 appearances (13 of which were starts). Pannone has compiled a 5.10 ERA with a 21.4% strikeout percentage in 305 career Triple-A frames. He’s out of options, so if he cracks Chicago’s MLB roster at any point, he’d need to remain in the majors or be designated for assignment.