The Cubs added some potential bullpen depth by agreeing to terms on a minor league contract with Rafael Soriano.
It appears per reports that the minor league contract more than likely contains an opt out clause, or some kind of expectation relating to a timely call-up to the big league team. It almost has to; Soriano just has too much potential value.
Soriano’s numbers took a turn for the worse over the second half of last season which saw his normally robust ERA skyrocket to 7.29. However, from April to the end of July, his ERA was a sparkling 1.10. The question the league — and now specifically the Cubs — is left with is whether this was an anomaly of sorts, or the beginning of the inevitable decline of a 35-year-old pitcher.
Soriano has some exceptional numbers over the years, and the Cubs could definitely use some of those numbers in their current bullpen situation, which currently ranks 20th in ERA. Hector Rondon has been sluggish, and despite support from Joe Maddon, has left room for someone to move in as closer. Jason Motte has experience and Pedro Strop has been alright (after an electric start), but if the Cubs really thought the answers were all in-house, it would be doubtful they’d look to sign Soriano.
More than likely, if the “stuff” is there, Soriano is up to the majors very, very soon.