Chris Carpenter. Remember him? Once one of the team's better pitching prospects, he pitched in 10 games for the team in 2011, posting a decent 2.79 ERA despite a glaringly-high 1.91 WHIP. Sent to the Red Sox as compensation for Theo Epstein, he was diagnosed with an elbow injury that made him miss much of the 2012 season.
Now, according to ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine, it's possible Carpenter could become a Cub again:
A source with knowledge of the situation indicated the Cubs would be interested in signing him if he is put on waivers. Carpenter, who had elbow surgery in the summer of 2O11, pitched for the Red Sox's Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket and with the parent club briefly toward the end of the 2O12 season. He appeared in eight games and had a 1-O record with a 9.OO ERA, recording 1O walks and two strikeouts. The Red Sox have 1O days to trade Carpenter before they must put him on waivers. If no club claims Carpenter, Boston could re-sign him to a minor league contract.
Should the Cubs claim him? I'd say yes. Carpenter just turned 27, had a good arm before the elbow surgery, and though he might not have the ceiling he once did, a minor-league deal would seem to go along with what the current regime wants to do, which is to get as much pitching depth in the system as possible. If nothing else, Carpenter still might become a decent middle reliever.
Not to mention the confusion with the "other" Chris Carpenter, the Cardinals reliever. You can't even tell the two apart by their middle names: both are Christopher John Carpenter. (And the Cubs will have yet another Carpenter, also a pitcher, in camp: non-roster righthander Andrew Carpenter.) The biggest difference: St. Louis' Carpenter is 6-6, the Boston/Chicago version is 6-4. (Not to mention the 143 more big-league victories for the Cardinals righty.)