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Cubs agree with Olson (source); Sadler acquired

Phegley agrees to Minor League deal, per source
@MLBastian
January 17, 2020

CHICAGO -- The Cubs continued to add to their growing list of bullpen hopefuls on Friday, acquiring right-hander Casey Sadler from the Dodgers and agreeing to a Minor League deal with lefty Tyler Olson. Chicago dealt Minor League infielder Clayton Daniel to Los Angeles in order to reel in Sadler,

CHICAGO -- The Cubs continued to add to their growing list of bullpen hopefuls on Friday, acquiring right-hander Casey Sadler from the Dodgers and agreeing to a Minor League deal with lefty Tyler Olson.

Chicago dealt Minor League infielder Clayton Daniel to Los Angeles in order to reel in Sadler, who was designated for assignment on Wednesday to clear a roster spot for the Dodgers' signing of pitcher Alex Wood. Sadler's arrival brings the Cubs' 40-man roster up to 39 players and adds another intriguing arm for a bullpen competition that could take the entirety of Spring Training to sort out.

TRADE DETAILS
Cubs get: RHP Casey Sadler
Dodgers get: INF Clayton Daniel

Per MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, Olson can earn a base salary of $650,000 in the Major Leagues, making him the latest pitcher to join Chicago on a split contract. Including Olson, the Cubs have not yet confirmed or announced any of their Minor League non-roster invitee signings.

To date this offseason, the Cubs have signed relievers Ryan Tepera and Dan Winkler to split Major League contracts, while also signing bullpen candidates Brandon Morrow, Jason Adam and now Olson on Minor League deals, per sources. Along with Sadler, the Cubs have also added Trevor Megill (Rule 5 Draft), CD Pelham (claimed off waivers) and Jharel Cotton (via trade) this winter.

Cubs' offseason needs and moves

As things currently stand, the only virtual locks for the Cubs' bullpen are closer Craig Kimbrel, lefty Kyle Ryan and righty Rowan Wick. If Tyler Chatwood is not in the rotation, he would slot into the bullpen as well. Chicago also has a lengthy list of internal candidates, including Dillon Maples, Alec Mills, James Norwood, Duane Underwood Jr. and Brad Wieck, among others.

Sadler, 29, has MLB experience in parts of four seasons between the Pirates, Rays and Dodgers, dating back to 2014. Last season, the righty posted a 2.14 ERA with 31 strikeouts, 13 walks and a 51.8 percent ground-ball rate in 46 1/3 innings between Tampa Bay and L.A. Sadler relies mostly on a sinker, cutter and curveball. Per Statcast, he averaged 93.4 mph on his sinker in '19, while logging a 37.8 percent whiff rate and an average spin rate of 2,911 rpm via the curve. That spin rate ranked 14th among 183 pitchers with a minimum of 150 results.

The 30-year-old Olson has spent parts of the past five seasons with the Mariners, Yankees and Indians. The lefty pitched from Cleveland's relief corps the past three years, posting a 0.00 ERA in 30 outings in 2017 before logging a 4.66 ERA in the last two campaigns combined. Working with a four-seamer, breaking ball and changeup mix, Olson has limited lefties to a .210 average (.638 OPS) in his career, compared to a .309 mark (.885 OPS) against right-handed batters. Last year, he turned in a 4.40 ERA with 28 strikeouts against 16 walks in 39 games (30 2/3 innings).

Olson landed on the injured list in early August last season for a non-baseball medical condition (later reported to be a case of shingles) and did not pitch again for the remainder of the year. Cleveland outrighted him from its 40-man roster on Nov. 4, and Olson elected to test free agency.

Cubs add Phegley to non-roster mix
On Friday, the Cubs agreed to a Minor League contract with veteran catcher Josh Phegley, who will come to spring camp as a non-roster invitee, per a source. The 31-year-old Phegley hit .239/.282/.411 with 12 homers and 62 RBIs in 106 games for the A's last season. He has spent parts of seven seasons in the Majors between stints with the White Sox and Oakland.

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.