At the 2017 trade deadline, the Chicago Cubs tried to bolster their bullpen by acquiring Justin Wilson from the Detroit Tigers. Alex Avila came over in the deal as well, and the Cubs let him walk, but they cannot do the same with Wilson.
Needless to say, Justin Wilson’s tenure with the Chicago Cubs did not get off to a good start.
In 23 appearances after being acquired, he posted a 5.09 ERA in just 17 2/3 innings. He walked 19 hitters and struck out 25, while giving up 18 hits. However he only had a 3.72 FIP. Not bad, right? After all, that marked the highest FIP he has had at any point in his career.
This season, he has been miles better. In 49 2/3 innings, Wilson has given up just 37 hits and struck out 64, posted a 3.43 FIP and just a .206 opponent batting average. However, he has also walked 30 hitters.
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Since Aug. 1, though, he has only walked one hitter, and it came on Aug. 2. Wilson has been one of the most effective Cub relievers out of the bullpen in 2018, becoming more of the guy the Cubs’ front office thought they were getting last season.
Wilson is a free agent at the end of the season, and as we saw with relievers last offseason, the Cubs are not afraid to spend.
Cishek got $13 million on his deal. Something like $12-14 million would be right in the range of what Wilson could be looking at during his first trip to the free market. Cishek signed his deal at the age of 31, guess what Wilson’s age is? Yep, 31.
These two will have similar experiences trying to find a new job, and Wilson has earned another chance with the Cubs for the season he has had. It’s time for the Cubs to give him that chance.