Chicago Cubs: Checking out free agent reliever Addison Reed

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 08: Addison Reed
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 08: Addison Reed /

The Chicago Cubs began their bullpen makeover with the signing of Brandon Morrow. Now we look at the next candidate to join him.

With Brandon Morrow in the fold, now is the time to ponder the next available free agent relief pitcher for the Chicago Cubs. Today, that is Addison Reed.

Veteran relief

Reed has been a bullpen fixture since making his debut in 2011 with the White Sox. He has also pitched for the Diamondbacks, Mets, and Red Sox. In 2017, he served as closer for the Mets before joining Boston and working as a setup man to Craig Kimbrel.

As a Met, spanning between 2015-17, Reed put together a 2.09 ERA over 142 innings, an opponent slash line of .222/.257/.332, and compiled 21 saves, 50 holds. As the closer in New York for the first part of 2017, he converted 19/21 save opportunities.

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Working in a setup role in Boston, the right-hander posted a 3.33 ERA in 29 appearances, striking out 28 batters over 27 innings. Reed walked 15 batters all season, as he was among leaders for BB/9 (1.78, 11th among all relievers).

Between 2015-17, Reed is 13th among relievers (2.02).

Reducing walks is an area the Cubs were looking to improve after issuing 264, the fifth-most among ML relief corps in 2017.

The home run ball was a tad higher for Reed in 2017 (1.30 HR/9). While he surrendered just four over 80 appearances in 2016, he allowed 11 in 2017. With the Mets, he surrendered six in 48 appearances and five over 29 appearances with the Red Sox.

High percentage of swings

Reed was very effective in getting opponents to swing outside the strike zone, posting a career-high 36.2 percent O-Swing percentage. For reference, he tied with Andrew Miller for 17th in the league in that regard. That figure was up nearly five percent from 2016 and was his best since 2011 when it was 35.8 percent. With pitches in the strike zone, batters swung at 75.6 percent, the highest of his career, and up from 69.9 percent in 2016.

Just like with Morrow, Reed can be another option to close for Joe Maddon.

Potential dealings

MLB Trade Rumors predicted the Cubs to sign Addison Reed for $36 million over four years. For what it’s worth, they predicted newly signed Cub, Brandon Morrow, to sign with the Rockies for three years, $24 million. Morrow signed with the Cubs for $21 million over two years, so the figures are close. In 2017, Reed made $7.8 million.

As some might express concern regarding Morrow’s injury history, Reed has never been on the disabled list. He’ll turn 29 years old on Dec. 27. Personally, I would like to see the Cubs sign a pitcher such as Reed, as well as one of Brandon Kintzler, Bryan Shaw, or even bring back Brian Duensing. Theo Epstein is also going to be meeting with Wade Davis‘ agent.

Next: Chicago Cubs largely quiet on Day One of the Winter Meetings

As it currently stands, the bullpen consists of Mike Montgomery, Justin Grimm, Carl Edwards, Justin Wilson, Brandon Morrow, and Pedro Strop.