The Cubs shuffled the chairs in the dancing bullpen again Friday:
Cubs sign free agent reliever Tony Barnette to one-year deal plus option for 2020.— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) February 1, 2019
Barnette had one good year (2016), one bad one (2017) and another good season (2018) for the Texas Rangers, all of that after spending six years pitching for the Yakult Swallows in Japan, where he posted a 3.58 ERA and 1.264 WHIP. In his final year in NPB (2015), he was the Swallows’ closer and posted 41 saves, a 1.29 ERA and 0.844 WHIP.
In addition to this, the Cubs waived Ian Clarkin (for the second time this offseason!). This time, though, Clarkin is apparently going to stick around:
I suspect Barnette will wind up on the Iowa shuttle this year. Unless there are more moves made, the bullpen still generally seems full with Pedro Strop, Brad Brach, Steve Cishek, Carl Edwards Jr., Mike Montgomery, Brandon Kintzler, Brian Duensing, Tyler Chatwood and Randy Rosario, and of course eventually Brandon Morrow. Brach’s signing, incidentally, has yet to be officially announced. The open 40-man spot is likely being held for Brach.
Barnette is 35 and was originally the 10th-round pick of the Diamondbacks in 2006. He played four years in their system before going to Japan.
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