The Chicago Cubs Tuesday released Rich (Goose) Gossage, one of baseball’s premier relief pitchers.
The club said Gossage and another pitcher, Al Nipper, were given unconditional release, trimming the team roster to 27 players.
Gossage finished the 1987 season with 289 career saves, 52 behind Rollie Fingers’ major league record of 341. Coming into last season, he had made 577 consecutive relief appearances.
But his career floundered with the Cubs, who acquired him from San Diego for Keith Moreland in February, 1988. He had a 4-4 record last season and had a 4.33 earned-run average in 46 games.
Nipper, 29, came to the Cubs with Calvin Shiraldi in a trade with the Boston Red Sox in December, 1987. He was 2-4 with 3.04 ERA in 22 games, including 12 starts.