The Chicago Cubs are among four other teams expressing interest in reliever Edward Mujica, according to MLB Daily Dish.
Aug 26, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Edward Mujica (44) throws to a Cincinnati Reds batter during the ninth inning at Busch Stadium. St. Louis defeated Cincinnati 8-6. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
The Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, and Cleveland Indians are the other teams eying the right-hander.
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim signed Joe Smith to a three-year, $15.75 million deal and Mujica is expected to receive a similar contract.
Mujica, 29, posted a 2-1 record and 2.78 ERA while earning 37 saves as the St. Louis Cardinals’ closer in 2013. Over his eight-year major league career, he is 19-19 with a 3.75 ERA in 381 career appearances.
With Kevin Gregg a free-agent the Cubs will either have Pedro Strop take over the closer duties or sign a late-inning reliever. Strop was acquired by the Cubs in 2013 in a trade with the Orioles for Scott Feldman.
In 2013, Strop appeared in 66 games, going 2-5 with a 4.55 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. These numbers are far too high to be considered a promising candidate as a big league closer. Following the trade to Chicago, he improved his numbers across the board, going 2-2 in 37 appearances in which he amassed a 2.83 ERA – roughly five runs lower than his mark in Baltimore – and lowered his WHIP to 0.943 in the process.
Left-hander James Russell and Strop would set up Mujica if the Cubs acquire him. This would be identical to last year’s set up, when Russell and Strop set up Gregg.