It is no surprise that the phones for Chicago Cubs brass Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are running out of battery. Rumors have swirled that the pair have talked to teams about potential trades.
ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian reported on air today that the Chicago Cubs are working a trade with the Seattle Mariners. The team is in need of a lefty reliever, and one that gets left-handed batters out. They just have.
Mike Montgomery is having a great year. The 27-year old left-handed reliever for the Mariners made the move to the bullpen this year and established himself as one of the best. In 32 appearances this year, Montgomery has pitched 61.1 innings with 54 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.34. Additionally, left-handed batters are hitting .164 against him. Right-handed batters have struck out 36 times against Montgomery as well.
The cost? Dan Vogelbach. It is well documented that Vogelbach’s place with the Chicago Cubs was limited, given that he was behind Anthony Rizzo. His improvements and production in Triple-A Iowa made him a valuable asset.
Is the trade going to put the Cubs over the top? That remains to be seen. The performance of Montgomery this year makes the move worth the risk. He can come in for multiple innings or in situations that require a left-handed specialist. He has even faced the St. Louis Cardinals, giving up one hit and striking out four. Needless to say, the bullpen received some help today.
And, the Cubs still have more assets to use in trade for another outfielder or reliever. With all the attention being paid to the Yankees staff, the Cubs knew the chance of landing Andrew Miller or Aroldis Chapman were low. Getting Montgomery may well be worth the trade. We’ll have more to follow as details of this trade are slowly coming out.