In baseball’s version of a wacky white elephant exchange, the White Sox claimed lefty pitcher Ian Clarkin off waivers from the Cubs just one week after the opposite had taken place. It wasn’t a sexy move last week and it’s still not now, though the Sox’ desire to get Clarkin back signals that there’s something more to the 23-year-old than what he’s shown so far.
Slowed by elbow and oblique injuries over the last few seasons, the former No. 33 overall pick (2013, Yankees) has worked primarily as a starter in the minors and could possibly fill out the back end of a big league rotation someday. He’ll need to show the Sox something soon, though, because his future is going to be largely dependent on really dialing his command in and keeping the ball on the ground.
This doesn’t figure to be a move that has any real impact on the Cubs’ offseason plans, as Clarkin was a lottery ticket who carried zero risk and offered little chance at a big reward. Then again, the fact that he’s ping-ponged back and forth between the two Chicago organizations in such short order says they believe in his potential. Or that both teams are bored and want to engage in a little gamesmanship.
If it’s the former, make sure you file this move away for when Clarkin is starting for the Sox in an historic Game 7 of the inevitable crosstown World Series. You know what though? Don’t worry about committing it to memory because Joe Buck will mention it a dozen or so times during the series.