Cubs sign Howry, option Berg

Updated: May 21, 2010, 6:01 PM ET
By Bruce Levine | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs signed veteran relief pitcher Bob Howry to a contract on Friday before they took the field against the Texas Rangers for a three-game series.

The team optioned reliever Justin Berg to Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move.

Howry, who's previously pitched for the Cubs and Chicago White Sox, was released by the Arizona Diamondbacks last weekend. The 36-year-old veteran mostly likely will be used in the sixth and seventh innings by manager Lou Piniella.

The Cubs will pay a pro-rated rate of the major-league minimum of $410,000.

The right-hander signed a one-year deal with the Diamondbacks in the offseason, but fell out of favor when he allowed 17 runs in 14 1/3 innings.

Howry had a 3.39 ERA in 63 appearances for the Giants last season.

Berg had a 6.43 ERA in 14 appearances this season. To make room on the 40-man roster, right-hander David Patton was designated for assignment.

This will not preclude the Cubs from seeking an eighth-inning set-up man via trade.

Bruce Levine covers baseball for ESPNChicago.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

MORE MLB HEADLINES