Cubs Looking For Bullpen Help

The Cubs are looking for bullpen help now that right-hander Jeff Samardzija has won a spot in the rotation, reports ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter). Chicago recently set their rotation by optioning Travis Wood and Randy Wells to Triple-A.

Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood make a fine end-game duo, but the rest of the Cubs' relief corps will feature guys like James Russell, Casey Coleman, and Rule 5 Draft pick Lendy Castillo. There are more clubs looking to buy bullpen depth this time of year than shop it, so it doesn't figure to be easy for the north-siders to shore up their middle relief situation.


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31 Responses to Cubs Looking For Bullpen Help Leave a Reply

  1. Just as an FYI, Casey Coleman is being optioned back to AAA to continue starting.

  2. BoSoxSam 3 years ago

    Ya guys can have Chris Carpenter back!

    Too easy.

  3. BlueCatuli 3 years ago

    James Russel actually put up pretty solid numbers as a reliever.

  4. rootman1010 3 years ago

    mike gonzalez would be a great fit. he could split setup duties with wood and would give the cubs another lefty option with russell. if marmol struggles with control, gonzalez would have a chance to close some games as well. the cubs will prolly be out of contention by the trade deadline so gonzalez could be flipped to a winning team for a mid-level prospect if he is pitching well. it seems like a win-win for both the cubs and gonzalez. the cubs also wouldn’t have to give up any young talent since gonzalez is a free agent.

  5. jb226 3 years ago

    As a Cubs fan: Just deal with what you have.  This isn’t a winning team anyway.

    • gmenfan 3 years ago

       Stop, you are making too much sense. Definitely agree with you.

      • mrsjohnmiltonrocks 3 years ago

         Ha, ha, I agree with both of you.  Pitchers that didn’t make their 25 man roster, rule 5 guys, salary dump releases, minor league contract opt outs-there’s going to be some cheap talent that should be good enough for a rebuilding team.  Add some free talent to what they already have to work with.  They should be fine.

  6. phillies1102 3 years ago

    I think I have a trade that might suit well. Not a blockbuster deal, but works for both teams. Cubs Jeff Baker for the Phils David Herndon. Baker is literally the perfect fit for the Phillies, a righty utility bat who still provides depth. Cubs get Herndon, who proved deserving of a bullpen spot last year after posting a reasonable ERA, but will get optioned to AAA because our roster is almost full. 

  7. kwiell 3 years ago

    Didn’t they just pick up Shawn Camp. Who is, in theory, a serviceable reliever?

  8. johnsilver 3 years ago

    Cannot imagine the words “Fine” and “Marmol” in the same sentence. Marmol is a half notch above Kevin Gregg as one of the worst closers in the game.

    • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

      whoa, I don’t know about that.

      I mean he does walk way too many people, but he also strikes out a lot, kinda canceling them out.  He still gives up minimal hits. He’s no where close to kevin gregg.

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

         Just the way he comes into games.. Walks the bases loaded, then implodes while doing his own Calvin Schiraldi impersonation like Kevin Gregg does is why posted that.

        I think Marmol might have learned it from Gregg even.. Gregg should trademark it since Schiraldi wasn’t around long enough to, or at least didn’t.

        • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

          last year was bad for him, mostly because he gave up more hits and struck out less.

          but before last year how could anyone complain about him, I mean in 09 and 10 combined he gave up 3 HR’s while striking out 231 batters giving up 83 hits in 151 innings.

          with his walks he’s not clean, but he gets the job done

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

             That can be said about Gregg also.. Not the super high K totals, but lack of giving up HR, except in critical games. the only season he gave up an excessive amount of HR was with the Cubs.

            Gregg and marmol will give up their walks in bunches.. Not 1 an outing, but when they are wild, they are wild and neither is known for maintaining composure once that 1st walk is allowed, or as I have seen.

            Marmol’s upper 90’s FB allows him to get away a bit more of course, but neither should be a closer. Myself? Epstein and Sveum should have spent the spring trying to work in Wood as the closer with marmol as the setup guy.

          • toddcoffeytime 3 years ago

            Marmol’s nearly unhittable slider is what allowed him to get away with those low HR totals and overall nice numbers in 09 and 10.  His fastball is just gravy

            If anything, I’d look at last year as an outlier for Marmol, he is really good.

    • meinhardt1992 3 years ago

      i would have to disagree with that statement he can be inconstant but averages 30+ save a season which is about right

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

         Kevin Gregg averaged 30+ a season from 2007-10, yet it was for 3 different teams and a reason.. Nobody was satisfied with his work.. Same reason Marmol is shaky. Walks and composure once he starts walking people.

        Gregg was constantly on the move because teams kept running him off. I have a feeling when Marmol’s deal expires at 6.5m AAV after 2013, he will be walking also, unless he gets his control under wraps.

        Not intending to slam the guy here constantly. it just seems better suited in a lesser pressure role as setup/7-8th inning role, especially since they have Kerry Wood available now.

    • gmenfan 3 years ago

      Make that two notches above Gregg, one above Brian Wilson. Given Wilson’s peripheral stats, it’s amazing how overrated he is as a closer.

  9. kwiell 3 years ago

    Didn’t they just pick up Shawn Camp. Who is, in theory, a serviceable reliever?

  10. Gettin’ tired of the Red Sox whining about the comp’.

  11. gradylittle 3 years ago

    “Cubs looking for help”

    Oh yes, they need plenty of that.

  12. jrodhard 3 years ago

    no point in trading talent for a middle reliever at this point. if you add a released player (like they did with shawn camp) or get someone off waivers, fine. Otherwise why give up something of value for a relief pitcher?

    If you trade Jeff Baker now, and all you get is a middle guy, not good…when you might get a decent prospect from a team at the deadline who will over pay thinking they HAVE to have Baker…if you don’t find a team to over pay, you’ll still likely get a similiar player to a middle reliever for him then…so you lose nothing and have a chance to max out on a utility player.

  13. crashcameron 3 years ago

    is Mark Prior still available ?

  14. meinhardt1992 3 years ago

    From a Cubs fan:  It seems like the Cubs have been looking for bullpen help for the past few seasons and now that we are in the “rebuilding” road I think we should draft some good relief pitchers.  And on Marmol I personally believe that the Cubs should resign Marmol at the end of the season because he is in the Top 10-15 closers in the game.  And to those haters on Marmol he does have that sick slider that was mentioned and also i will agree he does walk alot but he also strikes out alot of batters so I think i is our man

  15. rootman1010 3 years ago

    not yet… neither player the cubs received made the opening day roster but the front office acquired these guys for the future anyway. they can kind of take their time developing these players because they are unlikely to compete in 2012 anyway. an elite setup man is a luxury that the cubs did not need to spend $15 million dollars on. the move made plenty of sense for the reds since they have a legitimate shot at making a playoff run this year. marshall is a great pitcher and wood and sappelt still have time to become solid major league players. if the cubs are contending in another year or two, wood could be a contributor in rotation and the cubs have the money to sign another setup man.

  16. Yeah we appreciate you all giving us Sean Marshall, we gave up our “so called ML ready” talent in Wood and Sappelt. Torreyes might be useful in a few years.

  17. Trade with Cleveland. They have middle relief and you have Byrd.

  18. Gunner65 3 years ago

     Right … didn’t the Reds get “robbed” in that trade? Or so all the “experts” were claiming

  19. jb226 3 years ago

    I had no problem with trading Sean Marshall.  In fact I wanted them to trade him.  The question is the return.

    Marshall is an elite setup man, one of the best in the game, with at least intriguing potential to be a solid closer.  That has value.  The return was essentially a guy who most consider to have the upside of a back-end starter and another with the upside of a 4th outfielder.  
    Torreyes is a question mark for me; I just don’t know much about him.  That for an in-division trade.

    If that’s the best the Cubs could get, fine.  Something is better than nothing and it wasn’t a completely unreasonable return.  I just have trouble believing they couldn’t have found better, even if they were specifically targeting starting pitching.  Back-end starters are available every offseason for a small suitcase full of money, so trading an elite reliever and one of the team’s best trade chips for one just makes me scratch my head.  Nothing better was out there? Nothing better would have been out there midseason?

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