Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

Teams try out all kinds of ideas this time of year, and the Chicago Cubs are no exception.

Still, this is not a rumor I was expecting to see:

Sure, I believe the Cubs could benefit from adding a sure-fire arm to the bullpen (in addition to the mix-and-match approach with less costly pieces, which they’ve worked so well the last few years). But trading for a “top closer”? I didn’t see that coming.

Which is not to say I wouldn’t approve – there are certain arms (Aroldis Chapman, for example) that I believe are undervalued in this game. Of course, a guy like Chapman, with just one year left before free agency, would cost a significant amount.

Let’s play this out a bit, and suppose it’s true. Which “top closers” are available, anyway? There’s Chapman, sure. There’s Jake McGee or Brad Boxberger of the Rays, I’d guess. Phillies youngster Ken Giles has been rumored a bit, and, while that’s a fit for the Cubs, I still don’t know if the Phillies will deal him. Of course, there’s Andrew Miller of the Yankees, too, but he comes with a weighty contract. There’s Mark Melancon, but he’s one year from free agency and controlled by the rival Pirates. Does Drew Storen still count as a closer?

Then, of course, you have the issue of the Cubs already having a great “closer” in Hector Rondon. That doesn’t preclude them adding another – Joe Maddon is plenty competent to navigate that mine field – but seeking out a “closer”, specifically, is odd. Perhaps Crasnick just means a top bullpen arm, and most of the available guys tend to be closers.

This is an interesting rumor that’ll take a little time to digest. We’ll see if more pops up.

UPDATE: A little more here on this in the latest Lukewarm Stove.

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