The Cubs have signed former Marlins pitcher Nick Neidert to a minor league deal as they look to build additional depth in the system. The 26-year-old righty was a second-round draft pick by the Mariners in 2015 and was traded to Miami as part of the Dee Gordon deal in 2017. He made his MLB debut in 2020 and pitched four times in relief, then made seven starts with one relief appearance in ’21. Neidert made one MLB start this past season, tossing five innings with three strikeouts, no walks, and two earned runs allowed.
Source: Free-agent pitcher Nick Neidert is signing a minor-league deal with the Chicago Cubs. Neidert, 26, was recently non-tendered by the Marlins. The deal includes opt outs on June 1 and July 1.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) December 24, 2022
His deal with the Cubs features opt-outs on June 1 and July 1, per Robert Murray of Fansided, so Neidert may not be long for the organization if he’s not with the big club by summer. A quick look at his production doesn’t reveal much to indicate that he offers much the Cubs don’t already have, but it’s always possible some tweaks could make him stand out.
While Neidert’s got a low-90s fastball and really pedestrian strikeout numbers, his changeup has a 60-grade and he’s displayed excellent command in the minors. Finding a way to leverage those strengths might allow him to carve out a spot somewhere, I just don’t really see how it’s with the Cubs unless something has gone wrong elsewhere.
Though it’s already too late to stop folks on Facebook from complaining about the Cubs being cheap, I’ll issue the standard reminder that these moves are made by every team all the time. This is a minor league deal that costs them next to nothing and doesn’t require a roster spot, so it’s probably best to save the criticism.