Even after adding Cole Hamels and Jesse Chavez, the Cubs will still keep tabs on the market in the run-up to the Trade Deadline, possibly adding another arm to the bullpen. I wouldn’t necessarily expect a top-tier impact guy, but the market of relievers is SO robust this year that the Cubs might be able to find a bargain that they can’t turn down.
Remember: even if the bullpen looks physically full right now, injuries and ineffectiveness happen. The only time you can freely add players without worrying about waivers is right now. So, you go nuts, overload, and figure out how to fit everyone for August. Then, rosters expand to the full 40-man in September, and you’re golden. Then, you have another month to figure out which guys you want on your (hopeful) playoff roster.
To that end, one reliever the Cubs have been connected to in the past (trades and free agency), but have never landed, is sidearming righty Brad Ziegler. And he’s back:
Source : Cubs & Indians have shown the most interest thus far in Marlins RP Brad Ziegler.
— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) July 27, 2018
Now 38, Ziegler has put together two thoroughly “meh” seasons with the Marlins, the second of which is this year when he’s making $9 million. To say that he would cost virtually nothing more than salary relief is probably accurate.
Why want him at all? Well, he still gets groundballs at an elite clip, and is very effective against fellow righties. If you’ve got a situation coming up with a lot of righties, or a messy mid-inning spot where you need a groundball from a righty batter, then Ziegler would be your guy. It’d be a pretty darn specific role on a team like the Cubs, but, then, playoff-caliber teams can and should be able to afford guys like that.
There’s also the chance that he bounces back a bit with the Cubs – he was fantastic for years before coming to the Marlins.
Like I said, though, there are TONS of options right now in the relief trade market, so I wouldn’t mind seeing some patience from the Cubs.