Chicago Cubs have other focuses outside of Shohei Ohtani
By Jake Misener
Chicago Cubs need a better bullpen – and one that throws strikes
Before we look at who the Chicago Cubs might target this offseason, let’s start with who’s walking out the door first. Wade Davis, Koji Uehara, Brian Duensing and Hector Rondon are all out on the open market.
Obviously, Rondon is no longer a Cub by the team’s choice. They designated him for assignment after a struggle-filled 2017 campaign. Projected to earn north of $6 million next year, they opted to cut ties.
Davis is the clear-cut top closer on the free agent market. He’s going to get somewhere in the ballpark of four years and $60 million after a dominant lone season on the North Side. You absolutely cannot rule out the Cubs ponying up the cash to bring him back. But there are plenty of other options out there.
Brandon Morrow, the Dodgers’ right-hander who pitched in all seven games of the World Series, aims to capitalize on his 0.916 WHIP season as a late-inning weapon. Brandon Kintzler, who closed for the Twins in 2017, also appeared for the Nationals after a midseason trade. The Cubs have been linked to both guys lately – but talks aren’t in deep stages.
A quality left-handed option to replace Duensing is key, as well. Chicago had interest in Mike Minor before he inked a multi-year deal with the Rangers earlier this month. Southpaw weapons don’t grow on trees so the team might have to get crafty here.