Cubs and Braves Reportedly "Pushing" for Righty Brad Brach (UPDATE: Annnnnd the Braves Got Him)

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Cubs and Braves Reportedly “Pushing” for Righty Brad Brach (UPDATE: Annnnnd the Braves Got Him)

Chicago Cubs Rumors

Like we said last night: even after the Jesse Chavez and Cole Hamels acquisitions, there is little reason for the Cubs not to keep exploring the robust reliever trade market.

You can get extra arms right now, and next month, maybe you can’t. Creates a roster crunch? Well, sir, you figure it out for August, and then rosters expand in September. Then you’ve got a month of a freaking loaded bullpen, and more options to choose from for the playoffs. When the starting pitchers keep coming up short – and you can add only so many of them! – might as well add as many quality relievers as you can.

To that end, the Cubs are still in on Orioles righty Brad Brach, and are “pushing”:

This is not the first time the Cubs have been connected to the Orioles’ formerly-dominant setup man. Here’s what we wrote about him last week:

Brach, 32, put up a 2.05 ERA over 79.0 innings in 2016, all with excellent peripherals. Since then, he has trailed off a bit, and is down this year: 4.97 ERA, 3.95 FIP, 21.1% K rate, 10.0% BB rate. That said, he still doesn’t give up home runs, and he’s been pitching in front of one of the worst defense in baseball. Dude’s sporting a ridiculous .367 BABIP despite seeing only a small rise in his hard contact this year and a HUGE spike in his soft contact. Something doesn’t quite make sense there. He might just be a good change of scenery guy.

Brach is making $5.17 million this year, is a free agent after the season, and is a hoped-for-bounce-back type. That is to say, he should not cost much in trade.

I wouldn’t hate it. If you can bring in a guy who used to be great, is currently getting very unlucky in front of a terrible defense, and you can get him for next to nothing, why not?

That said, because the relief market is still so robust, I also wouldn’t hate the Cubs being very patient over the next two days. There are a lot of options out there, and while I am fine if Brach ends up being the low-cost, bounce-back guy, there are some probably-more-impactful types available. Maybe their price drops by Tuesday.

UPDATE: Well, you can stop arguing in your head about the advisability of going after Brach:

The return? IFA bonus pool money:

And that means the O’s now will have by *far* the most IFA money to work with, presumably to go after top Cuban prospect Victor Victor Mesa. Dang.


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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.