MLB News

Cubs put in waiver claims for two pitchers: reports

The Cubs tried to claim Matt Moore and Reynaldo López, both of whom were claimed by the Guardians

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MLB revealed the results of the league's irrevocable waiver claims on Thursday afternoon, presenting which teams won the claims for players who were recently placed on waivers.

The Cubs came away with no one, falling too far in the waiver order to successfully claim a player. But, that doesn't mean they didn't try.

They put in claims for pitchers Matt Moore and Reynaldo López, according to Bruce Levine.

Waiver claims are vital for teams on the fringe of the playoffs, like the Cubs. It gives teams the opportunity to add to their 40-man roster before the expansion to a 28-man active roster, instead of 26 players.

The waiver claim list is based on record in reverse order, giving worse teams first grabs at the players they want to claim. Unfortunately for the Cubs, their standing was too high to jump the Guardians, who claimed both Moore and López, along with Lucas Giolito.

All three, if any, would've made a solid fit for the Cubs and their push for the playoffs. Unfortunately, there is no limit to how many claims a team can make when they have priority on the list.

MORE: Analysis: Should the Cubs claim Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo López or Matt Moore?

Any of the claims would've lifted the Cubs significantly. Their arms are depleted.

Marcus Stroman remains on the shelf with fractured rib cartilage. Drew Smyly has been in and out of the rotation due to his struggles with command.

Even Jameson Taillon has had a rough go of things lately. After a solid run in late July and early August, he is once again struggling, giving up at least four runs in each of his last four starts, including four in the first inning against the Brewers in his last outing.

The team’s bullpen, while riding strong performances from Adbert Alzolay, Mark Leiter Jr. and Julian Merryweather, is facing some depth challenges of its own.

The Cubs have lost Codi Heuer for the rest of the season. Michael Fulmer just went on the injured list. Nick Burdi suffered an injury setback during his recovery, though he could start throwing again soon. Finally, the exact timetable for a return remains uncertain for Brad Boxberger.

The addition of Moore, López, or Giolito would've made sufficient support for the bullpen.

Moore has a 2.66 ERA through 44.1 innings this season. His WHIP is elite (1.023) and his strikeout rate (10 Ks/9) is exemplary of the production he would've brought to the Cubs. Especially being a left-handed pitcher, that's an arm the Cubs would've loved to get their hands on.

López has struggled several times in his appearances this season. For the White Sox, he held a 4.29 ERA with 20 earned runs allowed in 42 innings. He was traded to the Angels, along with Giolito, at the deadline. There, he improved, holding a 1.86 ERA through 9.2 innings.

His heater and devastating slider -- when under control -- make for enticing pitches to have in the bullpen. The Cubs are short of lefty relievers, underlining the vitality Moore brings. But in a bullpen as desolate as the Cubs', López would've been a crafty move to patch up the wounds they've suffered this season.

It's curious the Cubs didn't place a claim for Giolito, considering their starting rotation begs for another arm. Giolito has endured his fair share of struggles; though, you can never have too many arms heading into the playoffs.

Unfortunately, the Guardians and Reds came out as winners of waiver claims. The Reds added Hunter Renfroe and Harrison Bader to their roster, making a push for the NL Central division on the heels of the Cubs.

We'll see how their waiver claims, and the Cubs' waiver misses, affect both teams down the stretch.

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