According to Robert Murray of FanSided, the Cubs are bringing lefty Brad Wieck back on a two-year minor league deal. Wieck’s career path has been pock-marked by a series of health setbacks, the latest of which was an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. Prior to that, he underwent two separate procedures to correct an irregular heartbeat and also had testicular cancer surgery.
Dude is a trooper.
Sources: Free-agent reliever Brad Wieck is in agreement on a two-year minor-league contract with the Chicago Cubs. Wieck missed all of last season with an elbow strain and underwent Tommy John surgery in July.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) January 4, 2023
A two-year minors deal is a little out of the ordinary, but the structure allows Wieck to rehab as part of the organization over the next several months and then have (fingers crossed) another full season. If things go really well, he might be able to make it back in time for the last few weeks of 2023. He has logged a total of 25.2 professional innings since 2020 due to the aforementioned issues, so being able to see the field this year would be huge.
Speaking of which, Wieck is a massive human being. At 6-foot-8 and over a deuce and a half, he cuts an imposing figure on the mound and gets a ton of length to make his otherwise pedestrian fastball jump on hitters. Though he tops out in the mid-90s, Wieck generates a ton of active spin and generates big strikeout numbers by pairing the heater with a looping curve.
This deal shouldn’t have any real consequence in the near future, but it could provide the Cubs with a little lefty relief help in 2024.