The Chicago Cubs “Aren’t Done Yet” Making Moves
I think it’s been our expectation for a while now that the Chicago Cubs would at least still add another free agent reliever from here, but it’s always good to see a report that confirms it.
As Patrick Mooney writes at The Athletic: “The Cubs aren’t done yet. Adding a late-inning reliever with some closing experience would make a lot of sense. Perhaps there’s a veteran hitter still out there who could fill a specific role off the bench.”
It’s interesting that, even after adding Trey Mancini, the Cubs might still be looking for another veteran hitter. I tend to think that would take the form of a guy whose market just never arrived, and therefore has to take a minor league deal (with a good big league salary) right before Spring Training. Then the Cubs have the guy available for the spring, without taking up a 40-man roster spot, and can make a decision on him for Opening Day, when various injury issues inevitably have popped up in March. I would say candidly that I hope the Cubs find someone like that, just in case.
As for the late-inning reliever, we are mostly focused on the lefty options out there for the Cubs because they have only Brandon Hughes locked into the bullpen in that role, and because the market is still really robust (Andrew Chafin, Zack Britton, Matt Moore, Brad Hand, Will Smith). I still like Michael Fulmer, though, even if he is a righty.
As Michael noted yesterday, that market really got messed up by the early Matt Strahm signing by the Phillies, where he got two years and $15 million, despite arguably being much less attractive than the other guys now still remaining. You could understand if you are Chafin or Moore, who are CLEARLY more compelling than Strahm, and you don’t want to take less than he got. I get it. Eventually, though, the market isn’t there anymore, and you just have to take the best deal you can get – which, I presume, is why a team like the Cubs is still waiting things out.
In the end, I would be very surprised if the Cubs didn’t get a quality relief arm from that pool before the offseason ends.