Earlier today we shared Gordon Wittenmyer’s report about the Cubs looking to add two relievers in free agency, but that those pitchers won’t be any of the top tier guys available. There was also the suggestion that the front office would wait, maybe into January to make a move after surveying the market.
It’s become clear the Cubs must move some money around in order to address their needs and they have a huge hole to fill in their bullpen. Brandon Morrow won’t be ready by Opening Day and the Cubs have several question marks already in the pen.
So, obviously they’re looking at the free agent class and some new names have been linked to the Cubs.
According to 670 The Score’s Bruce Levine, the team has been in contact with three new relievers.
Via 670 The Score.
Since then, the Cubs haven’t made a signing or trade. Adding bullpen help is a priority, especially after recent news emerged that closer Brandon Morrow had elbow surgery in November and is unlikely to be ready for the start of the regular season. The Cubs have spoken with the representatives of free-agent relievers Brad Brach, Bud Norris and Jake Diekman.
However, before we move on, the Cubs have denied talking to Bud Norris, which is absolutely hilarious. A big fuck you to Bud.
Cubs confirm they are not checking in on Bud Norris on free agent market.
They are looking at relievers, but Norris not in that group.
— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) December 12, 2018
Anyway, Brad Brach and Jake Diekman aren’t necessarily the most exciting names out there, but considering the Cubs apparently can’t spend too much money I guess they fall into their category.
However, one look at Diekman’s numbers from 2018, and really the last couple years of his career, and you want no part of the Cubs signing him. He walked five guys per nine innings last season with the Rangers and Diamondbacks. No thank you. No more relievers who walk a lot of batters, please.
Meanwhile, Brach at least finished 2018 strong with the Braves after he was traded to Atlanta by the Orioles. He finished the season with a 3.59 ERA overall and 1.52 ERA in 23.2 innings with Atlanta.
Brach’s had the better career, starting with the Padres in 2011. From 2013-17, his ERA didn’t go over 3.19. So, I guess he’d be fine.
Yet, the Cubs might not make their bullpen moves until the new year, as they try and get some value with plenty of relievers out there.