The moves continue ahead of the Rule 5 draft deadline later today and the Cubs claimed left-handed pitcher Ian Clarkin off of waivers from the White Sox.
Clarkin was a first-round pick of the New York Yankees in 2013, who took him with the 33rd pick of the draft. He spent 4 1⁄2 years in the Yankees organization, where his progress was hindered by him missing the entire 2015 season with elbow inflammation that did not require surgery. He returned after rest and rehabilitation and pitched in the Arizona Fall League after the 2015 season. The Yankees traded Clarkin to the White Sox in July of 2017 as a part of the deal that sent Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to the Bronx.
Clarkin spent most of last season with the double-A Birmingham Barons, where he went 4-5 with a 4.98 ERA in 68.2 innings. He made ten starts and eight relief appearances with the Barons after missing most of June and July with a groin injury. (He pitched in rookie ball and in High-A in July as he worked his way back to Double-A.) Clarkin had 35 strikeouts and 31 walks in Double-A last year.
Baseball America ranked Clarkin as the White Sox 22nd-best prospect during the previous offseason. They noted that he had a four pitch arsenal that depended on a mid-70s curveball that was potentially a plus-pitch. He throws a fastball at 86-88 mph but with good sinking movement. He also has an “average slider” and a “below-average changeup” according to Baseball America. They concluded that his major league future was as a situational bullpen lefty.
With the move, the Cubs 40-man roster now stands at 39 and presumably they will have to add several minor league players later today to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. So expect more moves to come.