Oh boy. Things are flying now. I wonder if this what today is going to be like, given that a lot of folks are going to leave after the Rule 5 Draft later today, and given that some of the biggest pieces have started to fall into place.
The next signing is Kenley Jansen to the Red Sox, who are investing heavily in the bullpen this offseason:
Jansen, 35, was very briefly connected to the Cubs earlier this offseason, but if this was his price tier, I just don’t see the Cubs going there for a no-longer-elite closer. Don’t get me wrong, Jansen is still very good. But he’s settled into being something more like 20% better than league average, rather than where he was five years ago (more like 50% better than league average). He’s reliably good when healthy, though, and I’m sure that’s what the Red Sox are paying for.
There are still a load of good relievers available, by the way, even if you wouldn’t dub many more of them a “closer.” Craig Kimbrel is the biggest name in that group, though he’s gonna have to take a bounce-back deal after things went so south with the Dodgers (I wouldn’t hate that at all, given how the last place he pitched extremely well was with the Cubs). Andrew Chafin is still interesting. Taylor Rogers is interesting as a bounce-back. Adam Ottavino was outstanding last year. David Robertson was obviously great. Now that he’s a full-time reliever, Michael Fulmer is very interesting. Not sure if he’s legit, but Matt Moore was unbelievable last year. I could keep going – there’s like 15+ guys who were great last year and/or who look pretty compelling for next year. And that’s not even talking about the reclamation types where the Cubs make so much hay.
I’m just not worried about what the Cubs will do in the bullpen. We’ll look back in June and say, dang, man, they did it again.