Cubs Trade RHP Erich Uelmen to Phillies for Cash

A few days after designating him for assignment to clear a space for Drew Smyly, the Cubs have traded righty Erich Uelmen to the Phillies for cash considerations. The 26-year-old made his MLB debut last season and pitched 27 innings over 25 appearances, posting a 4.67 ERA with one save.

Uelmen put up pretty impressive strikeout numbers at Triple-A over the last two seasons, but his walk totals were somewhat elevated as well and his stuff wasn’t enough to excel at the big league level. That could change, of course, and it wouldn’t be the first time a Cubs pitcher experienced success away from the organization.

A fourth-round pick by the Cubs in 2017, Uelmen made steady progress through the system serving primarily as a starter for three seasons. He converted to a relief role in 2021 and saw a big jump in his strikeout numbers, though he was also crushed by the home run ball in his first taste of action at Iowa. A big-time groundball pitcher, he got back to that in ’22 and can have success if he can miss more bats.

We should soon hear more on P.J. Higgins, then there’ll be another move to clear space for Eric Hosmer once that deal is finalized.

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