MILWAUKEE - The Chicago Cubs today acquired right-handed pitcher Tommy Hunter from the Baltimore Orioles for outfielder Junior Lake. Additionally, right-handed pitcher Ben Rowen has been designated for assignment.
Hunter, 29, has pitched all or part of eight major league seasons with the Texas Rangers (2008-11) and Baltimore (2011-15). Since moving into a full-time bullpen role with Baltimore in the 2013 season, Hunter has gone 11-9 with 39 holds, 15 saves and a 3.05 ERA (65 ER/191.2 IP) in 167 relief outings the last three years, limiting opponents to a .276 on-base percentage and .357 slugging percentage for only a .633 opponents OPS. He has walked only 37 batters in 191.2 innings and posted a 1.95 ERA (6 ER/27.2 IP) in 21 outings against the National League the last three years.
The righthander saw 75 of his first 98 major league outings come as a starting pitcher through the 2012 campaign before moving to the bullpen and tying for 10th in the league with 21 holds while posting a 2.81 ERA (27 ER/86.1 IP) and a 0.98 WHIP in a career-high 68 outings in 2013. Hunter saw time as Baltimore's closer last year and recorded 11 saves to go along with 12 holds and a 2.97 ERA (20 ER/60.2 IP) in 60 appearances. He is 2-2 with six holds and a 3.63 ERA (18 ER/44.2 IP) in 39 appearances for the Orioles this season.
Hunter is 44-33 with 15 saves and a 4.28 ERA (314 ER/661.0 IP) in 265 major league outings, 190 of which have come in relief. He broke into the big leagues with Texas in 2008 at the age of 22 and made all but one of his first 45 major league outings as a starter through 2010, going 13-4 with a 3.73 ERA (53 ER/128.0 IP) in 2010 before being traded to Baltimore with Chris Davis for Koji Uehara on July 30, 2011. Hunter has reached the postseason three times with Texas (2010) and Baltimore (2012 and 2014).
The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Hunter was selected by the Rangers in the supplemental first round (54th overall) of the 2007 Draft out of the University of Alabama. He is a native of Indianapolis.
Lake, 25, batted .224 (13-for-58) with one home run and five RBI in 21 games with the Cubs this season. He broke into the big leagues with the Cubs in 2013 and has batted .241 (145-for-602) with 16 home runs and 46 RBI in 193 games over the last three seasons. He originally signed with the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in 2007.
Rowen, 26, was selected from Triple-A Iowa this past Wednesday, but did not appear in a game for Chicago. He was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA (9.1 IP) in eight appearances with Iowa since joining the Cubs on a minor league deal on July 4 of this season.