As you know, MLB free agent signings and trades are on hold during the lockout.
But teams can sign players to minor league deals, and per the Cubs website transactions page, the team signed righthander Mark Leiter Jr. to a minor-league contract Wednesday.
Leiter, who turns 31 in March, made 47 appearances (11 starts) for the Phillies and Blue Jays in 2017 and 2018. His results weren’t good: 5.53 ERA, 1.474 WHIP, -1.1 bWAR.
But he put together a good season at Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo in the Tigers system in 2021 with a 3.77 ERA and 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings.
He really turned it on towards the end of this past season. Over his last five starts at Toledo: 1.03 ERA, 46 strikeouts and just four walks.
Leiter is (probably obviously) the son of Mark Leiter, who pitched 11 MLB seasons with eight teams, mostly the Tigers and Phillies, and the nephew of Al Leiter, whose 19 MLB seasons included pitching in two World Series for the Mets.
Obviously, this is another signing for depth; the more relievers Jed Hoyer can bring to camp — and I assume Leiter is seen as a reliever, not a starter — the more chance someone, or a couple of someones, will step up. Whenever spring camp starts, of course.
Mark Leiter Jr.!
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