No doubt the Chicago Cubs will want to add another bullpen arm or two moving forward. San Diego could be a team to look at for options.
The 2018 trade deadline is approaching, and the Chicago Cubs will most likely be looking at pitching. Another starter is what is being discussed a lot considering the struggles of Tyler Chatwood and Yu Darvish being on the DL. However the bullpen is an area that also will likely be addressed. It is not like it is struggling mightily, but there have been injury issues and a contending team cannot have enough bullpen options.
One thing that is very noticeable during the Cubs series in San Diego is the number of quality relievers the Padres have. Closer Brad Hand has been in Cubs conversations for a while, but he is not the only name in that pen worth anything. Hand could still be a name Theo and Co. look at, but a closer is not a need. Right now depth is what is desired for this bullpen.
Potential targets in the Padres bullpen
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One guy who has had a really good year so far is Kirby Yates. The 31-year-old veteran enters Saturday with a 1.47 ERA, 0.9 WHIP, 2.07 FIP and 47 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings. That is a 11.54 K/9. This is definitely a breakout year form him, after having an up and down start to his career. Yates was average at best year last year with a 3.97 ERA and 1.1 WHIP. Right now his value is high and getting potentially his best year could give the Cubs another weapon.
Another option could be veteran Craig Stammen. At 34 years old, Stammen has a bigger MLB resume than Yates does. This year is has a 3.05 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 2.10 FIP and 46 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings. Since becoming a reliever in 2011, Stammen has a 2.90 ERA and 3.26 FIP in 276 games. He also is under control through next year, making $2.25 million this season and next season. While a little older, he has shown he stall has some left in the tank and a guy with his experience could be very valuable.
The last two names are not really well-known guys. First is 27-year-old rookie right-hander Adam Cimber. Believe it or not, he has more innings pitched than Stammen and Yates with 47.1 so far. Right now he sports a 3.04 ERA, 2.25 FIP and 1.035 WHIP. Cinder is more of an unknown, but, the numbers are good. Lastly is 26-year-old Matt Strahm, who has been both a starter and reliever in his third year in the majors. He was involved in the Travis Wood deal last year and has a 2.56 ERA, 3.42 FIP and 1.011 WHIP this year. A young, versatile pitcher could be very useful for the Cubs.
What would these potentially cost?
Brad Hand would easily be the most expensive piece of the group. The Padres would want a decent haul, and the Cubs do not need a closer right now. Right now he seems unlikely. Targeting other guys on the list above would likely not cost as much.
Yates and Stammen could maybe ask for a decent prospect or two, kind of like the Justin Wilson deal last year. That remains to be seen. San Diego is probably more willing to deal veteran arms and keep younger ones.
It would be in the best interest for the Cubs to at least kick the tires on relievers, this place is a good start.