The Cubs are just 15 days away from having pitchers and catchers report to Mesa for spring training, and Wednesday they continued a bit of roster Jenga:
Which allows me to trot out the line, "Gonzalez, we hardly knew ye." He was claimed on waivers from the Rangers just 12 days ago, not even enough time to get measured for a spring-training uniform.
Drake Britton is a 25-year-old lefthander who -- and this should not surprise you -- was drafted by Theo Epstein when Theo was Red Sox GM, in the 23rd round in 2007. The fact that a 23rd-rounder made the major leagues at all is credit to him for sticking around; his minor-league record is middling at best (4.63 ERA, 1.488 WHIP in 151 appearances that included 102 starts).
In the major leagues, in limited duty (25 games, 27⅔ innings over two years, 2013 and 2014), he's been a bit better: 2.63 ERA, 1.265 WHIP, and a grand total of 0.5 bWAR, which is certainly worth something. At 25, and lefthanded, maybe he can stick in Joe Maddon's bullpen. In four career appearances against Maddon's Rays, Britton threw 5⅓ innings and allowed three hits and no runs. Maybe Maddon remembered those and when Theo mentioned claiming him, Maddon said, "Why not?"
In any event, there's one more lefty in the bullpen mix for 2015.