Cubs add 'funk' to bullpen, acquire Smith from Angels

Chicago nets sidearm right-hander for Minor Leaguer Castillo

Cubs add 'funk' to bullpen, acquire Smith from Angels

CHICAGO -- Joe Maddon likes having some funk in the bullpen, and the Cubs feel they found that in right-hander Joe Smith.

The Cubs acquired the sidearm throwing Smith, 32, from the Angels on Monday in exchange for Minor League pitcher Jesus Castillo, who was pitching at short-season Eugene. Smith is the fourth reliever the Cubs have added recently, joining Aroldis Chapman, Mike Montgomery and Joe Nathan.

"After getting Chapman, it puts us in a really good spot," Cubs starter Jake Arrieta said of the addition of Smith. "The move for Joe was another one that helps us address a need to have a guy who can come in and be effective against big right-handed bats in crucial times in any games. I don't know if it's a huge move, but it's a move that definitely helps us."

Maddon compared the addition to when the Rays added sidearm reliever Chad Bradford in 2008.

"I love funk -- funk in the bullpen is a good thing," Maddon said. "No hitter likes to see funk in the bullpen."

"He's a veteran guy, outstanding makeup, outstanding competitor," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said of Smith, who was expected at Wrigley Field on Tuesday. "He gives us a different look out of the bullpen -- he's a sidearm, ground-ball guy. We don't have that look or that ability right now in our bullpen. It's great to have hard-throwing guys with great breaking balls but it's nice to have a different look in your bullpen. He's a guy who Joe can use to get a big double play in the right spot."

Smith was 1-4 with a 3.82 ERA in 38 games, and has done well in Anaheim, posting a 2.60 ERA and holding teams to a .150 average. Opponents were hitting .338 off the right-hander on the road, where he has a 4.87 ERA. His contract expires at the end of this season.

Smith fans Cabrera

Castillo, 20, was 2-3 with a 3.27 ERA in seven starts at short-season Eugene.

On Monday, Brian Matusz was designated for assignment and right-hander Spencer Patton was recalled from Triple-A Iowa. Matusz made his Cubs debut Sunday night, and served up six runs over three innings in a no-decision against the Mariners. The Cubs needed Patton for a fresh arm after the 12-inning victory.

"It was tough for him," Arrieta said of Matusz, who was his teammate on the Orioles. "He'll handle it, he'll move forward and hopefully be better after the fact. I know it was brief but I hope he can keep things going and moving in a positive direction and get back out there and be ready to go."

• The Cubs did explore opportunities at the non-waiver Trade Deadline to acquire a left-handed bat. They've been on the lookout since Kyle Schwarber suffered a season-ending knee injury in the third game of the season, but have been able to plug the spot with a variety of players, including Willson Contreras, Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist.

"Every team has injuries, and that was a tough one for us because of where he sits in the lineup," Hoyer said of Schwarber. "We did look at ways to address it but didn't come up with anything."

The Cubs were somewhat limited in their trade partners.

"One factor that was not ideal for us is there were two active sellers in our division and one active seller in our city," Hoyer said of the Brewers, the Pirates and the White Sox. "It's hard to do deals with those teams. We were certainly active."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.