The Cubs have minor-league deals lined up with southpaws Danny Hultzen and Rex Brothers as well as outfielder Noel Cuevas, per the latest minor-league deal log from Baseball America’s Chris Hilburn-Trenkle. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic had previously reported the Cuevas signing, via Twitter.
Hultzen had been dropped from the Chicago 40-man roster in December after making his long-awaited big-league debut late in 2019. The former second overall draft pick saw his career with the Mariners derailed by a series of debilitating arm injuries, but he reemerged with the Cubs organization.
Though Hultzen didn’t throw many innings in 2019, he did turn in some interesting numbers. In 18 total frames (3 1/3 in the majors and the balance at Triple-A), he racked up 28 strikeouts against 11 walks and permitted just a pair of earned runs on eight hits. During his MLB action, Hultzen worked in the 93 to 94 mph range with his fastball and got swings and misses on 12.3% of the pitches he delivered.
As for the flamethrowing Brothers, he spent the ’19 campaign turning in typically high-K, high-walk outings for the Yankees’ top affiliate. In 45 2/3 innings at Triple-A, the former Rockies and Braves hurler struck out 81 opposing hitters but also doled out 36 free passes. He ended the year with a 4.93 ERA. Once a fixture in the Colorado bullpen, Brothers has seen his big-league opportunities dwindle in more recent seasons.
Cuevas has a more recent track record with the Rockies organization. He struggled in the majors during his 2018 debut and was injured in his first game up in 2019. He ended up spending most of the just-completed campaign at Triple-A, where he turned in uninspiring numbers. But Cuevas has at times produced at an above-average rate at the plate in the upper minors. The 28-year-old is capable of playing all three outfield positions.