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Cubs sign Tim Collins, designate Brian Duensing for assignment

The “outside” relief help is apparently here.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Cubs lefthander Brian Duensing had a rough, injury-marred 2018 season, and a bad spring training (10.29 ERA, 1.571 WHIP, two home runs allowed in seven innings over 10 appearances).

And now, he won’t be a member of the ballclub on Opening Day:

Duensing would have to clear waivers and accept an assignment to Triple-A Iowa to stay with the organization. In the meantime, the Cubs have the DFA period to try to trade him and perhaps save some of the $3.5 million they owe him for 2019.

Tim Collins had four pretty good years as a reliever with the Royals from 2011-14 and pitched in the World Series for them in 2014. Since then he has undergone Tommy John surgery twice and finally re-surfaced in the big leagues last year with the Nationals. He threw 22⅔ innings for them in 38 appearances and posted a 4.17 ERA and 1.544 WHIP. He signed with the Twins last month and posted a 4.91 ERA and 1.227 WHIP in seven spring appearances for them. There’s no transaction listed for Collins on the Twins website, but I have to assume they let him go recently.

Collins is 29. I suppose we could think of him as a younger, better version of Duensing.

It hasn’t been officially announced by the team, but I’d assume Collins will be on the Opening Day roster and we might see him throw in one of the games against the Red Sox Monday or Tuesday.

UPDATE: Apparently not!