With Brandon Morrow expected to miss the first month of the season and Pedro Strop now nursing a hamstring strain, the Cubs are looking at some questions in their relief corps. The organization has sent some conflicting signals, though, on how it intends to proceed.
Skipper Joe Maddon suggested there was some discussion of potential acquisitions in recent comments, as Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun Times writes. Though Wittenmyer reports that there have been no budgetary changes that would support pursuit of Craig Kimbrel, he indicated that the organization might look to the waiver wire and explore potential trades to deepen their bullpen.
President of baseball operations Theo Epstein put a somewhat different spin on things in his comments later today. He said that he does not “foresee anything significant at all” in terms of new acquisitions and added that he is confident in the team’s existing depth. (Twitter links.)
It stands to reason that the club will at least look into other possibilities. The Cubs could at a minimum peruse this season’s crop of out-of-options players, as several of those players face uphill battles to make their current rosters.
That said, Chicago isn’t exactly teeming with bullpen flexibility. Even if Morrow and Strop open the year on the injured list, the team projects to commit roster spots to at least six veterans who can’t be optioned: Mike Montgomery, Steve Cishek, Brad Brach, Brandon Kintzler, Brian Duensing and Tyler Chatwood. Beyond that, while Carl Edwards Jr. can technically be optioned, he’s a lock for the Opening Day roster.
Speculatively speaking, perhaps the Cubs would simply part ways with an underperforming veteran if a more affordable bullpen option presented itself. It could also be that an intervening development will open a spot. As it stands, though, the club’s relief corps currently looks like a potentially problematic area that can’t be easily addressed.
Wing Dings Say Wha?
“Speculatively speaking, perhaps the Cubs would simply part ways with an underperforming veteran if a more affordable bullpen option presented itself.”…….. sounds good, so trade Heyward? lol
Trade Heyward in a salary dump exchange, use open financial room created by trade to pursue Kimbrel?
Chicks Dig the Longball
What prospect are you going to attach to Heyward to get any team to take him?
Screw a prospect…asked 2012 Dodgers…any team will take on if the deal is right
Gotta love the “this player suck we should trade him” crowd. If the player sucks and makes way too much money why would any other team trade for him.
Plus if you pay most of the contract to get rid of him, there is not much cost savings.
Except the BoSox had to attach Agon to get rid of Crawford’s and to a lesser extent Beckett’s contract. In a pure salary dump the Cubs would be forced to part with either prospects or a piece from the MLB roster.
They will probably have to eat about 75 million dollars of his contract. I don’t think any team would have a problem paying him 30 million dollars over the next 5 years. That’s the only way they would be able to trade him without attaching anybody. He’s not a good hitter and we could save 5 million. I would do it in a heart beat. No corner outfielder should get paid to play defense only.
The cubbies have sure fallen from grace fast.
Heyward? That’s the guy with World Series ring? Machado ,Harper and trout still waiting . LOL
Even the equipment manager gets a WS ring. Heyward still sucks.
Trade Bryant who will leave in Free agency anyway and upgrade the bullpen. Baez too, to bring it up to MLB average. Very sound. No pain, no gain.
Bryant isnt leaving as a free agent.. theres a very good chance he signs an extension. Next winter they’ll offer his their first extension offer.
I wouldn’t be so sure about that. He has Scott Boras as an agent. The CBA is up the same time as his contract with the Cubs. He’d be smart to play this out until the end and see what the new CBA brings. So unless the Cubs offer him a ridiculous contract, I don’t see them extending him before he gets to the end of the contract.
They haven’t offered anything yet. If they start at 240 million I think he’ll be fine. Boras is a talentless leech and manipulates his clients.
I’d argue that Boras is a very talented agent and you have no evidence that he manipulates his clients. As I’ve said before, my bet is that he attracts clients that want him to go for the big money
98% of his clients leave the comfort of their current teams. He has a way that he talks them pit of staying in their comfort zone. Strasburg is the only one that signed an extension. I bet you anything he told him to leave D.C.
Bryant loves chicago as does his wife jessica. Chicago loves him.
An offer has yet to be offered. The Ricketts are not very baseball smart. They are money smart. Starting an offer at 240 million is very smart.
Edwards will be the hero of the pen this year. The kid has electric stuff, hasn’t given up anything this spring w/ his new delivery. He’s the closer of the future and that future will be this year.
Chicks Dig the Longball
I hope so, been holding on to him in my keeper league (we have holds so he is still useful).
If he is the future closer the Cubs are in real trouble. Send down Chatwood and get a closer.
Chatwood cannot be sent down
Better yet, DFA him
I don’t know why Chatwood isn’t in an Oriole uniform. Send him with a prospect or two and he’d easily fill that fifth spot. If Karns gets healthy or someone passes him on the depth chart, just move him to the bullpen. It might cost a player like Amaya or Alzolay, but who cares if it’s costing them the ability to add.
If he refuses trade him for another bad contract. They have maybe 2 pitching prospects. With value. I think both will be called up for a permanent stay by June or July. All the talking heads assume the brewers will be better than the Cubs and cards .. the reds Cubs and cards all improved in some way. The brewers lost their ace. Didnt add any starting pitchers. We all know theyve needed an ace since cc Sabathia and.zack Greinke. Hader and jeffers were overused and will not have the same year as last year. Grandal will be shipped out by the deadline to a contender
Lmao who was the Brewers ace that they lost? Wade freakin Miley?
I thought the same thing. Brewers don’t have an ace.
How did the Cubs improve? Please elaborate.
Darvish will be healthy (maybe). Heyward can’t be worse (maybe). Hence the improvement (maybe).
Make or break year for Edwards. He has changed his release and is doing great in spring . Wait and see when games matter
“Edwards will be the hero of the pen.”
Do you work for the Cubs public relations?
Heyward hit .270 last season and has elite defense trade either Happ Zobrist Almora Bote Schwarbs
He’s still an albatross. Terrible signing.
Get some new material. Please.
Pitches Love Velocity
Truth hurts. Lucky for you youll be hearing this til 2024. Better get use to it.
New material? Ok. Theo will be the Padres president in 2021. Ricketts will penny pinch this team into mediocrity. And when they finally hang it up in 15 years or so, Bryant & Rizzo will fondly remember their only World Series title.
If you’re a Cubs fan, fear the future.
I’ll fear for it when you actually have a shred of fact to back any of that.
No one will take Heyward’s contract in full. We’d have to eat so much money and trade good young players just to dump the rest.
Cubs destined for 3rd place finish at best.
About a 5% chance they don’t finish 1st or 2nd. If they somehow finish 3rd would be a disastrous season no doubt but at least that would be two spots better than the White Sox finish.
I think the White Sox stand a good chance of contraction…
Contending? I don’t think so. But the White Sox should be 3rd in that division with KC and DET still early on in rebuilds
Personally, I say stop pretending that a few million dollars is a big deal and sign Kimberly to a 2 year deal (maybe 25-30 mil) with option to opt out next fall.
Cubs spent all of their FA money on too many losers.
If Yu and Chatwood didn’t suck, they could go 9 innings and no bulllen required.
“Your idiotic comment is awaiting moderation”
Not sure how you made it past the filter
ChiSox, admit it. You’re a closet Cub fan. That’s why you read everything you can about the Cubs.
And Kimbral is suddenly ok with a 2 yr contract? And where did this magical 25-30mm just appear from, as it has not been in the budget to this point? Seems to me they have plenty of quality arms.
Teams with good managers tend to shake out the bullpen during the entire season. It’s not time for wholesale changes.
Their bullpen is just fine. Outside of morrow and kinzler they have a solid bullpen.
Agreed. Everyone points at how they don’t have a big name closer but a bullpen featuring Morrow, Strop, Cishek, Edwards, Montgomery, and Brach is great. Not completely sold on Cedeno, but that’s a nice group.
They already have a very capable closer in Cishek. He was one of the better closers in baseball when he was with the Marlins until he had a bad half a season with them in 2015. After he moved to St. Louis he started finding himself again. Then had a very solid year closing in Seattle. I don’t see why the Cubs need to spend closer money on a proven closer with Cishek being more than capable of handling the job. They should have signed Bud Norris to a minors deal. I am sure he would have preferred a contender over the Blue Jays. Casilla is still available and should be ready for a minors pact by now. The last thing the Cubs need is another long term contract for a player getting ready to leave his prime like Kimbrel. Don’t get me wrong, Kimbrel will probably remain a solid player for several more seasons. Solid is not elite though and he wants elite money.
Cishek is a bandaid. You cannot win a WS without an elite closer. Impossible disadvantage to overcome in the game today.
I know you only troll the Cubs, but Kimbrel and Giles were garbage for the past two World Series winners. So you’re wrong, big time.
2017 Astros disagree
I don’t even remember the red Sox using kimbrel. At the same time the Dodgers were way overmatched and had no chance. They were lucky to not get swept. The last 3 years the WS winner was the best team in baseball.
Yeah generally agree. I don’t see a problem here at all.