The Cubs claimed veteran right-handed reliever Julian Merryweather off of waivers this afternoon. Merryweather had pitched the last three seasons for the Toronto Blue Jays. To make room for Merryweather on the roster, the Cubs designated right-handed pitcher Manuel Rodríguez for assignment.
Merryweather, 31, pitched in 26 games last year for Toronto. That includes one “opener” start. In 26⅔ innings, Merryweather went 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA. He struck out 23 hitters and walked seven of them.
Merryweather really shined last season in the minor leagues as he returned from an injury. Over 16⅓ innings, all but two for Triple-A Buffalo, Merryweather allowed just one run and it was unearned. He struck out 22 and walked just six.
The 6’4” Merryweather made his major-league debut in Toronto in 2020. He made the Opening Day roster in 2021 and claimed the save in the Blue Jays first two wins of the season. But he was placed on the injured list on April 14 with a left oblique strain and didn’t return to the team until September 7. For 2021, he went 0-1 with a 4.85 ERA and the two saves. Over 13 innings, he struck out twelve and walked four.
Merryweather was a fifth-round pick out of Oklahoma Baptist by Cleveland in 2014. Merryweather went to Toronto in 2018 as the player-to-be-named-later in the deal that sent Josh Donaldson to Cleveland.
Rodríguez, 26, signed with the Cubs out of Mexico as an international free agent in 2016. He made his major league debut in 2021. Last year with the Cubs, Rodríguez went 2-0 with a 3.29 ERA and two saves over 14 relief appearances. However, he did walk nine batters and struck out just eight over 13⅔ innings.
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