Although Zach Britton is the big name in the rumor mill, he’s not the only quality lefty reliever with team control after 2017 currently on the trade market.
And although I wouldn’t call a lefty reliever a dire need for the Cubs, you could absolutely see how they’d be improved by adding one to join Mike Montgomery (who is more of a long reliever) and Brian Duensing (who’s been quite good, but doesn’t have the long track record).
So then, it should be unsurprising to learn that the Cubs have been in contact with the Padres about lefty Brad Hand, and with the Tigers about lefty Justin Wilson (Bruce Levine).
Hand, 27, was a mostly unsuccessful starter with the Marlins before the Padres reclaimed him into a dominant reliever. This year, Hand has posted a 2.20 ERA, a 2.77 FIP, and a 2.94 xFIP over 49.0 innings. He’s controlled through the 2019 season via arbitration, and rumors have had it that the Padres’ asking price is enormous.
Wilson, 29, has been a very good reliever for the Tigers (2.75/2.97/3.50) this year after being a very good reliever for the Pirates and Yankees before that. He’s controllable via arbitration through next year, and, although he wouldn’t fetch as much as Hand, he’d be a pricey acquisition for a bullpen arm.
It’s not a lock that the Cubs will add to the bullpen this month, but it’s obviously on the radar.