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Cubs add reliever Adam on Minors deal (source)

@MLBastian
January 14, 2020

CHICAGO -- In their search for intriguing bullpen possibilities, the Cubs have reeled in right-hander Jason Adam as an option for the Opening Day cast. Adam and the Cubs have reached an agreement on a Minor League contract that includes a non-roster invitation to attend Spring Training, a source told

CHICAGO -- In their search for intriguing bullpen possibilities, the Cubs have reeled in right-hander Jason Adam as an option for the Opening Day cast.

Adam and the Cubs have reached an agreement on a Minor League contract that includes a non-roster invitation to attend Spring Training, a source told MLB.com on Tuesday night. The Cubs have not confirmed the deal.

According to reporter Robert Murray, Adam could earn a base salary of $700,000 in the Majors with $1.2 million possible in total via incentives.

The 28-year-old Adam was non-tendered on Dec. 2 by the Blue Jays and immediately stood out as a potential target for the Cubs, who have been collecting cost-effective arms this winter.

In 2019, Adam only logged 21 2/3 innings for Toronto, but recorded a 2.91 ERA in 23 appearances. The right-hander posted an 11-percent walk rate, but averaged 94.4 mph on his four-seamer with an elite spin rate. Per Statcast, Adam’s fastball averaged 2,580 rpm, ranking 13th out of 517 pitchers with at least 100 results.

Expect the Cubs to work closely with Adam this spring in their pitching lab in an effort to harness his heater, and to better utilize it alongside the curve and changeup.

In parts of the last two MLB seasons with the Royals and Blue Jays, Adam has turned in a 4.83 ERA with 55 strikeouts against 25 walks in 54 innings.

As things currently stand, the only virtual locks for the Cubs’ bullpen are closer Craig Kimbrel and setup men Kyle Ryan and Rowan Wick. Tyler Chatwood is a candidate for the bullpen, if he is not in the rotation. Chicago also re-signed Brandon Morrow to a Minor League deal with a chance to regain a spot in the bullpen after a ‘19 season lost to injury.

Behind that group is a long list of internal relief contenders, as well as offseason additions like Trevor Megill, CD Pelham, Ryan Tepera, Dan Winkler and, now, Adam.

Jordan Bastian covers the Cubs for MLB.com. He previously covered the Indians from 2011-18 and the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.