Today, the Chicago Cubs announced that they have claimed southpaw Ian Clarkin off waivers from the Chicago White Sox. The former first-round pick is still waiting to get a chance to make his MLB debut.
The 24-year old lefty was the 33rd overall pick by the New York Yankees in the 2013 draft. Clarkin was later flipped in a 2017 in-season trade that sent David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle back to New York in exchange for Clarkin and other prospects.
Clarkin’s 2018 season was not a good one, as Clarkin was smacked in 68 Double-A innings. In 18 appearances (10 starts) at that level he posted a 4.98 ERA and walked 31 hitters and striking out 35 of them.
Furthermore, the Cubs have a general need entering the off-season for left-handed bullpen depth. The Cubs will look to tap into the potential that made Clarkin a first-round pick. Clarkin’s development was looking good in the Yankees system and when he arrived in the White Sox organization he regressed.
Finally, Clarkin might have a chance on sticking on the 40-man roster, but do not count on it with the Cubs, who could potentially open their checkbooks and go after Andrew Miller or Zach Britton, plus maybe re-sign Justin Wilson. If Clarkin does not make the team, he has a chance on being called up as he will be one of the first left-handed options within the minor league depths for the Cubs.