I’ve written twice in the last week about former Cubs No. 1 draft pick (2002) Luke Hagerty, who began his attempted comeback at a throwing session in Seattle last Sunday, and it was later reported that he threw faster than any of the other dozen or so pitchers at that session, averaging nearly 97 miles per hour.
Even though Hagerty is 37 — and will turn 38 April 1, and that’s no foolin’ — someone who can bring that kind of fastball heat and is lefthanded surely deserves at least a look by a major-league team. In my two previous articles I mentioned my thought that the Cubs should sign him.
This weekend I learned that the Cubs do indeed have interest in Hagerty, as do a couple of other major-league teams. Beyond the fact that you can never have enough good hard-throwing lefthanded arms, especially in today’s game where it seems everyone can throw 95+, Hagerty coming back to pitch after a decade out of the game (and, granted, no success after Tommy John surgery when he did pitch from 2004-08) would be a fantastic feel-good story not just for the Cubs if they sign him, but for MLB in general. Sports could use more great stories like this, for sure. Note that I’m not saying the Cubs should sign him for “a fantastic feel-good story,” they should sign him because he’s lefthanded and can throw 95+.
I continue to hope that the Cubs will sign him and give him a chance to throw this spring, a few innings in big-league spring games, or even in minor-league spring games. Again, I’ll make it clear: I am certainly not suggesting giving him a major-league contract or a 40-man or 25-man roster spot. I’m suggesting a minor-league deal and a spring look, and if he looks like he can help the team down the road, an assignment to a team in the Cubs system where they can see if he can get hitters out in game situations.
I’m rooting hard for Luke Hagerty to succeed in his comeback, and hoping it’s for the Cubs. It could be a great thing for him and for the team.