The Chicago Cubs May Still Be Looking to Add a Lefty Reliever

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The Chicago Cubs May Still Be Looking to Add a Lefty Reliever

Chicago Cubs

It was long expected that, by the end of the offseason, the Chicago Cubs would add one more sure-fire reliever to their bullpen mix. Generally, we regarded that as one of the big group of quality lefties, or righty Michael Fulmer. Well, the Cubs reportedly agreed to a deal with Fulmer on Friday. So that’s that.

Wellllllll maybe not.

See, the thing is, the Cubs have just one lefty in their projected bullpen right now (Brandon Hughes), and the reliever market is clearly sufficiently depressed at this moment that you can’t rule out the possibility the Cubs could still land a bargain from here.

And the reporters at The Athletic are indeed not ruling it out:

The Cubs have added two veterans this offseason in Brad Boxberger and Michael Fulmer and a plethora of non-roster arms. Boxberger has an extensive history of success and Fulmer is a more under-the-radar reliever who has looked strong after injuries sidetracked a promising start to his career as a starter. Even with the recent addition of Fulmer, it’s possible the Cubs aren’t quite done yet and could bring in a veteran lefty.

I don’t quite know that that’s a “tease” about a pending deal that Patrick Mooney and/or Sahadev Sharma has heard about. It could be, but it’s just as likely that they are simply telling it like it is: the Cubs might do it. The arms are still out there, and if Fulmer’s deal comes in at a relatively low price tag, then there could still be a little bit of cash available to sign a lefty (and still leave room under the luxury tax for in-season addition(s)).

Among the lefties still out there are Matt Moore, Zack Britton, Brad Hand, and Will Smith. All are legit big league relievers right now, and all SHOULD be securing big league deals for real dollars. But with pitchers and catchers reporting this week, sometimes this is just something that happens: the market never develops, most teams have the budgets all used up, and a quality reliever has to take a deal in February that no one would have predicted in November.

As things stand, the Cubs have a number of non-roster lefties in camp competing to win a bullpen job: Roenis Elias, Ryan Borucki, Eric Stout, Anthony Kay, Brendon Little, Bailey Horn, and Brailyn Marquez. Maybe one of those guys shows out and takes a spot in the opening day bullpen. The Cubs have a lot of option-ability among their young righty relief arms that they’re going to be able to accommodate someone surprisingly making the team.

Of course, that’s the same reason that the Cubs could stand to add one of the remaining free agent lefties on a big league deal if the price is right.

Author: Brett Taylor

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