Hong-Chih Kuo, a lefthanded pitcher from Taiwan, was one of the better relievers in the National League from 2008-2010; in the last of those years, he posted a 1.20 ERA and made the National League All-Star team.
2011 was an “annus horribilis” for him, though; he suffered through an anxiety disorder and had a 9.00 ERA and 1.74 WHIP in 40 appearances (27 innings). Then he had elbow surgery at season’s end; signed by the Mariners over the winter, he was released during spring training.
Now, he has another shot at returning to the major leagues:
#Cubs have signed Hong-Chih Kuo, an All-Star in 2010, to a minor-league deal. He will report to Mesa.
— Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney) June 4, 2012
This is a low-risk, possible high-reward signing for the Cubs; if Kuo still can’t pitch he’ll be released again, but given the state of the Cubs’ bullpen, just about anyone might be of assistance.