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.