12/4 Cubs sign Wright
The Cubs added another left-handed reliever to the bullpen mix on Wednesday, signing free agent Wesley Wright to a one-year deal. Wright, 28, was non-tendered by the Rays on Monday. He posted a combined 3.69 ERA in 70 games for the Rays and Astros this past season, striking out 55 over 53 2/3 innings pitched.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported the deal was believed to be $1.425 million for Wright. Major League sources confirmed the signing.
In his career, Wright has held left-handed hitters to a .231 average compared to .266 by right-handed batters.
Wright announced the signing himself by changing his Twitter profile @realweswright to say he’s now a relief pitcher for the Cubs.
Wright picked up his first career win on April 4, 2008, pitching in relief at Wrigley for the Astros. He entered the game with a man on first and two outs in the seventh, and the two teams tied at 2. He got Felix Pie to ground out and end the inning, and the Astros scored two in the eighth. Wright was the pitcher of record and picked up the win.
According to a story from that game, he planned on giving the game ball to his parents, who were expected in Houston for the home opener that year. It was special to get the first win at Wrigley Field. Growing up in Gosham, Ala., he watched Major League games on cable television. His father was a Braves fan but his brother, Derrick, watched the Cubs.
“You do what your older brother does,” Wright said at the time. “I was a big fan of Andre Dawson and Ryne Sandberg, Shawon Dunston, Sammy Sosa … all the guys that played here in the past.”
Needless to say, the young lefty, who was 23 at the time and pitching in his second career big league game, was excited.
“It was surreal for me to be out there on the mound and 30-some thousand people at Wrigley,” he said. “It was crazy. I wish my brother could have been here to share it with me because I know it would mean just as much to him.”
The Cubs were looking for bullpen help, and especially another left-hander to help southpaw James Russell, who ranked 10th in the National League in games (74). Chicago is still shopping for a closer to replace Kevin Gregg, who is a free agent.
– Carrie Muskat