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Cubs release right-handed reliever Grimm

MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs released reliever Justin Grimm on Thursday.

MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs released reliever Justin Grimm on Thursday.

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Grimm, 29, had appeared in four games this spring and gave up six hits, including two home runs, over four innings. He had walked four and struck out two.

The Cubs were expected to carry eight relievers this season, and Grimm had been considered a candidate for one of those spots.

Grimm's best season was 2015, when he posted a 1.99 ERA in 62 games in relief.

Grimm was the first Cubs player to go to an arbitration hearing since Theo Epstein took over as president of baseball operations. Grimm lost the decision, and was to be paid $2.2 million. The Cubs owe him about $530,000 in termination pay.

It was tough for the Cubs players to say goodbye to Grimm, who was part of the World Series championship team in 2016.

"We've been close," Kyle Hendricks said. "He's an awesome guy. It's the nature of the business. That's how it goes. He shouldn't have a problem finding another job. We obviously wanted him in this group and with us and it'll be tough to see, but that's how it goes."

The Cubs have said they want to carry 13 pitchers when the season opens. There are 19 still in camp, including three non-roster players, Anthony Bass, Kyle Ryan and Justin Hancock. The five starters are Jon Lester, Hendricks, Yu Darvish, Jose Quintana and Tyler Chatwood. Relievers who are set include closer Brandon Morrow, Steve Cishek, Brian Duensing, Carl Edwards Jr., Mike Montgomery, Pedro Strop and Justin Wilson.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Chicago Cubs, Justin Grimm