Cubs Sign RHP Tony Barnette to MLB Deal

No strangers to under-the-radar pitching additions, the Cubs made another Friday afternoon when they agreed to terms with veteran righty Tony Barnette. As first reported by Mark Gonzales of the Tribune, the deal is for $750,000 in 2019 with a club option for $3 million in 2020.

Barnette has made a total of 125 big-league appearances, all with the Rangers, posting a 3.50 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. He was outstanding last season, putting up a 2.39 ERA and 0.91 WHIP over 22 appearances before a lat injury shut him down for the season. That’s somewhat reminiscent of Barnette’s salad days as a shut-down reliever in Japan.

As closer for the Yakult Swallows, Barnette racked up 97 saves with a 3.58 ERA from 2010-15. He can still pump the fastball in there around 93 and, while he’s not likely to close for the Cubs, he could serve as a nice emergency option in Brandon Morrow’s absence. After all, the Cubs have done well with former Rangers of late.

Ian Clarkin cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A, so the Cubs’ 40-man roster remains at 39 after the addition of Barnette.

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