Danny Hultzen was easily one of the best stories of the season for a Cubs team that had too few positives in 2019. A former top draft pick, the lefty pitched through injuries and almost saw his career ruined by multiple surgeries as a result. The Cubs took a chance on him and he finally bounced back last season to make his MLB debut after eight years in the minors. Then they non-tendered him, allowing him to become a free agent.
Hultzen’s time with the Cubs may not be at an end, however, as Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports that the club will offer the southpaw a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training. Hultzen won’t be on the 40-man roster, but has a chance to be added based on his performance.
Hultzen debuted on September 8 in Milwaukee, entering with his team trailing 8-3 in the bottom of the 7th inning. After hitting Christian Yelich and then allowing a hit to Ben Gamel, he struck out the next three batters to keep the score static. He went on to pitch 3.1 innings over six appearances down the stretch, allowing no runs on four hits with five strikeouts and two walks.
There’s always room for a lefty who can sit close to mid-90’s and can miss bats, so you have to believe the Cubs will give Hultzen every opportunity to prove himself again. While this is very much in keeping with their other low-risk moves this offseason, Hultzen’s pedigree — though quite tarnished — gives him a much higher ceiling than most other pitchers.