Cubs Sign Former Twins RHP Tyler Duffey to Minors Deal
According to Patrick Mooney of The Athletic, the Cubs have signed righty reliever Tyler Duffey to a minor league deal with a spring training invite. The 32-year-old was a fifth-round pick by the Twins in 2012 and served as a bullpen stalwart for Minnesota from 2017 through last season after beginning his career as a starter. Duffey has appeared in 295 games with 37 starts and had a really excellent run from 2019-21.
Source: The Cubs are adding pitcher Tyler Duffey as a non-roster invite who will compete for a bullpen job in spring training. Duffey made 295 appearances for the Twins across the last eight seasons, and the Cubs have a good track record with those types of free-agent relievers.
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) January 27, 2023
Over that three-year period, he carried a 2.69 ERA with 174 strikeouts and 48 walks over 144 innings. Those results appear to have come from basically ditching the sinker and upping his curveball usage to the point where he was throwing it more than his fastball. Something was wrong with the hook this past season, however, as Duffey got hit hard and didn’t strike out as many batters.
Though he has mild reverse splits for his career, Duffey’s performance has varied wildly in that regard and it’s hard to predict whether or how he’ll be able to rediscover any sort of consistency. As is the case with so many of these moves, it’s a way to build depth without any real roster or payroll commitments. The Cubs have always done a good job getting the most out of experienced relievers, so maybe this will end up paying off.