Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres ready to revisit talks?
Before acquiring Justin Wilson last summer, the Cubs checked in with the Friars regarding left-handed reliever Brad Hand. Once San Diego asked for Javier Baez in return, things wrapped up pretty quickly.
In hindsight, that sure seems like the right call. El Mago is in the midst of a career year at the plate, while continuing to provide Gold Glove-caliber defense alongside Russell in the middle of the Cubs’ infield. But, according to 670 The Score, discussions could restart ahead of the deadline.
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And, as Bruce Levine rightly points out, Joe Maddon is running his bullpen into the ground this year. Though, that’s hardly his fault (at least not entirely his fault). Starters like Quintana, Tyler Chatwood and Yu Darvish haven’t exactly been horses out there on the hill.
As for Hand, the southpaw has even more value than he did last year this time. Why? He inked a contract extension with San Diego over the offseason – a three-year, $19.75 million deal. Hardly a budget-buster, especially for a large market team like Chicago.
Oh, and he’s still dominating on the mound. He entered Thursday with a 0.934 WHIP, 1.78 ERA and a career-high 21 saves as the Padres’ closer. Adding someone like Hand to the Chicago pen is downright scary if you’re a rival club – but the question comes down to this: do the Cubs have enough left in terms of chips to get a deal done?
Again, it’s hard to envision. But seems far likelier than Machado.