(CBS) The Cubs believe they may have something in recently acquired right-hander Eddie Butler.
Once a top prospect with the Rockies organization, the 25-year-old Butler became available after being removed from Colorado’s 40-man roster last week, and the Cubs were quick to pull the trigger on a trade, sending right-hander James Farries and swapping international bonus money slots
On Saturday, Cubs senior vice president of player development Jason McLeod joined 670 The Score to discuss what Butler could bring to Chicago.
“A guy who’s an established pick by Colorado,” McLeod said. “Big arm. Really got his career off to a good start in the Rockies organization. I don’t want to say he’s stalled out, but the performance the last two years hasn’t been what you expect for a guy with his type of arm and his type of stuff.
“For us, it was certainly a guy we felt fit a lot of what we needed, which was upper-level starters that can come up and start in the major leagues. Obviously, we feel really confident in our pitching infrastructure — with (pitching coach) Chris Bosio, the guys in the big leagues and our pitching coordinators in the minor leagues — that this was somebody we could get as a buy-low that still has that big stuff that he had coming out of the draft.”
Butler, who turns 26 in March, is 6-16 with a 6.50 ERA in parts of three seasons in the majors. He was 2-5 with a 7.17 ERA in 17 appearances last season.
Butler once rose to become one of the Rockies’ top pitching prospects and was considered one of the better prospects in the game. His struggles in Colorado made him expendable.
The Cubs have made habit of finding players in Butler’s position, looking to better their young careers with different instruction. Their greatest success was with Jake Arrieta, who was acquired at a low price in 2013. Two seasons later, Arrieta won the NL Cy Young and had a historic run of dominance.
“He’s a perfect change-of-scenery candidate,” McLeod said of Butler, “and someone — not to throw Jake Arrieta on him by any means — but someone that has the pedigree of having big stuff, being worthy of that pick. We’re hoping to get him on buy-low and see what happens on him.”
Butler will join the Cubs pitchers at spring training on Feb. 14.