Less than a year from being removed as the Chicago Cubs’ closer, right-hander Hector Rondon limped through one of the worst seasons of his big-league career.
Chapman, of course, came to the North Side as the team eyed a World Series title. He played an integral role throughout the postseason, at multiple points putting the team on his back and willing them to victory. He left via free agency, returning to the New York Yankees last winter, but the closer role again eluded Rondon.
The Cubs dealt struggling young outfielder Jorge Soler to the Kansas City Royals for closer Wade Davis. The gritty right-hander went on to set the all-time franchise record for consecutive saves converted and earned the team’s lone All-Star selection in Miami this summer. But now, Davis is also a free agent. And the Cubs have a good shot at losing him the same way they lost Chapman last offseason.
Sure, the team could make Davis their one big spend this winter. But regardless of whether they do or not, the Cubs need Hector Rondon to get right before Opening Day 2018.