Chicago Cubs make big moves in FanSided Faux Winter Offseason
By Jake Misener
Chicago Cubs acquire Justin Nicolino, Brad Ziegler from Miami Marlins for prospects Wladimir Gallindo and Jose Paulino
The main piece for the Cubs in this deal is Nicolino. The southpaw comes with four years of team control at a low cost. If all goes well, new pitching coach Jim Hickey can help turn things around for the southpaw.
Last year, Nicolino again played swing-man for the Marlins. He struggled, posting a 5.55 FIP and 1.792 WHIP across 48 innings. At home, he pitched well with an earned run average in the mid-3.00 range. I went into this deal hoping for a sub-4.00 ERA in year one and, hopefully, a downward trend in years to come.
Ziegler came as a salary relief piece for Miami. He’s due $9 million in 2018 (keep in mind, Davis is making $15 million annually). After an impressive 2016 split between Arizona and Boston, the right-hander wasn’t the same in his first season in South Beach. He allowed nearly 11 hits per nine – his most since 2009 with Oakland. But his 3.73 FIP is cause for hope. His unique arm angle could be a key piece for a matchup guy like Joe Maddon come October.