Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Shawn Camp (54) stands on the mound after giving up a grand slam to Pittsburgh Pirates Travis Snider in the sixth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, May 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
OAKLAND – The Cubs finally cut ties with reliever Shawn Camp – a guy manager Dale Sveum repeatedly called on of his team MVPs last year but who had struggled all season this year.
Camp was designated for assignment Wednesday as the Cubs made room for the additions of newly acquired relievers Pedro Strop and Matt Guerrier. The Cubs have 10 days to trade or waive Camp.
That leaves only two members left from the Cubs’ Opening Day bullpen: left-hander James Russell and Rule 5 player Hector Rondon.
Left-hander Chris Rusin, who was brought up from Iowa to make a spot start Tuesday, was optioned back to Iowa in the other move the club needed.
Camp, originally signed to a minor-league deal last year after being released by Seattle, had a 3.59 ERA and tied for the major-league lead in appearances (80) last year, earning him a $1.35-million contract for another year in the Cubs pen.
He had a 7.04 ERA and seven homers allowed in 23 appearances this year.
A sprained big toe was considered a factor in his struggles in May, but his performance did not improve much when he returned from the DL, with just one strikeout against three walks, three home runs and four earned runs in 6 1/3 innings over six appearances.
Rusin pitched 3 1/3 innings in a no-decision Tuesday, taking the vacated rotation spot of Scott Feldman, who had been traded to Baltimore earlier in the day in the deal that netted the Cubs Strop and starter Jake Arrieta.
The Cubs haven’t named a starter for the next time that spot comes up in the rotation, Sunday, but it won’t be anyone on the major-league roster, the team said.
Rusin would only be eligible to return that soon if somebody else goes on the DL, and Arrieta is not considered an option for that spot.
Guerrier was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in Tuesday’s trade of Carlos Marmol.