The Cubs announced several roster moves this afternoon. The club selected the contracts of right-handers Shane Greene and Tyler Duffey, while transferring infielder Nick Madrigal and right-hander Michael Fulmer to the 60-day IL to clear space on the 40-man roster for the duo. Right-hander Hayden Wesneski and left-hander Jordan Wicks were optioned to the minors to make room for the duo on the active roster. In a separate pair of moves, second baseman Nico Hoerner was placed on the 10-day IL with a left knee contusion while infielder Jared Young was recalled to replace Hoerner on the active roster.
Greene is in the tenth season of his big league career, having debuted as a member of the Yankees back in 2014. From 2017-2020, Greene was a strong set-up option at the back of the bullpen for the Tigers and Braves, posting a 3.25 ERA and 4.04 FIP in 221 1/3 innings of work, including his lone All Star campaign in 2019. Unfortunately, he’s struggled badly since then with a 6.83 ERA in 27 2/3 innings since the start of the 2021 campaign. Greene was selected to the major league roster by the Cubs earlier this year, but recorded just one scoreless inning before being outrighted off the 40-man roster. Now he’s back for the final game of the season, with the Cubs having been eliminated from postseason contention last night.
Duffey, 31, spent his entire career as a member of the Twins prior to the 2023 campaign. Since his debut in 2015, he’s posted a 4.57 ERA and 3.96 FIP in 475 innings of work with Minnesota. Upon hitting free agency last offseason, Duffey signed on with the Cubs on a minor league deal but is only just cracking the big league roster despite a solid 3.77 ERA in 45 1/3 innings of work at the Triple-A level. That’s in part thanks to a elevated 12.6% walk rate. Still Duffey posted a solid 29% strikeout rate and will now appear in the ninth big league season of his career, should he get into today’s game.
Departing the roster to make room for the pair of veterans are Wesneski and Wicks, a pair of youngsters who each got auditions in the Chicago rotation this season. Wesneski posted a 4.72 ERA and 5.52 FIP across 87 2/3 innings of work with the big league club, while Wicks sported a sterling 3.00 ERA and solid 3.96 FIP through six starts before getting shelled during last night’s game against the Brewers in Milwaukee, which raised his season stats in the majors to a 4.41 ERA and 4.70 FIP. Both youngsters figure to enter Spring Training next season as potential options for the Cubs at the major league level.
Meanwhile, Hoerner heads to the IL after fouling a pitch off his knee during Friday’s game and sitting out on Saturday. With the Cubs having been eliminated from postseason contention last night, clearly the club saw no reason to have Hoerner play through the injury on the last day of the season. It was a strong campaign for Hoerner, who slashed .283/.346/.383 in 688 trips to the plate while going 43-for-50 on the basepaths and playing elite defense at second base. Taking Hoerner’s place on the active roster is Young, a 27-year-old rookie who made his MLB debut with the Cubs last year. Through 65 trips to the plate in the big leagues the past two seasons, Young has slashed .224/.308/.466 while playing first base and right field.
The moves are purely procedural for both Madrigal and Fulmer, who were already on the injured list through the end of the season.