The 27-year-old had a promising major league debut in 2003, notching a save in his first career appearance against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on May 15. It was essentially the peak of his tenure with the Cubs, as he struggled on the major league roster during each of the next three seasons.
In 57 appearances from 2003-05, Wellemeyer posted a 6.19 ERA and was used almost exclusively out of the bullpen in mop-up duties. He spent the majority of his time in the minors as a starter, including last season at Triple-A Iowa where he was 3-2 with a 3.02 ERA in 12 games. He was also plagued by flashes of poor control and had a tendency to give up the longball.
In exchange for Wellemeyer, the Cubs acquired RHP Lincoln Holdzkom and LHP Zack McCormack. Holdzkom, 24, appeared in 12 games last season for the Gulf Coast League Marlins and Class-A Jupiter Hammerheads of the Florida State League, posting a combined 4.81 ERA. He was a Marlins seventh round draft pick in 2001 that underwent Tommy John Surgery and missed the entire 2004 season.
McCormack, also 24, split time on the Class-A level between Jupiter and Greenboro of the South Atlantic League. He appeared in 45 games (all from the bullpen) and went 5-3 with a combined 4.79 ERA. He was an 11th round pickup by the Marlins in the 2003 draft.
The Cubs also announced the retirement of veteran outfielder Marquis Grissom, a 38-year-old veteran who was hoping to make the Opening Day roster in a bench role.
Said manager Dusty Baker earlier this week, "These are important days for him at this point in his career. We'll try to give him as much playing time as possible without slighting anybody else."
In 18 games this spring, Grissom batted only .205 (9-for-44).