Chicago Cubs: Team’s biggest need isn’t a slugger, it’s a shutdown lefty

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Chicago Cubs
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While Bryce Harper or Manny Machado might be nice, the Chicago Cubs desperately need to reload their supply of left-handed relievers this offseason.

I apparently look at the Chicago Cubs in quite a different light compared to most of my fellow fans. As everyone clamors over the idea of Bryce Harper coming to the Friendly Confines on a mega-deal, I’m pretty content with the current roster makeup. In my mind, it comes down to these guys playing up to their potential than anything else.

Chicago won 95 games while getting next to nothing from Kris Bryant and Brandon Morrow for more than half the season, literally nothing useful from either Yu Darvish or Tyler Chatwood – the team’s two biggest offseason acquisitions and an offense that stopped hitting for the final month.

Theo Epstein is already hard at work rectifying the situation, firing hitting coach Chili Davis and, at the very least, mulling over the future of pitching coach Jim Hickey. Even manager Joe Maddon seems to be on only semi-solid ground, as the team won’t discuss an extension with the skipper this winter.

Concerns over the luxury tax thresholds and long-term financial obligations have dominated headlines during the first month of the offseason. Will the Cubs spend big in an effort to get back to the World Series? Or will they once again bank on their core group and hope for a bounceback?

Regardless of which path they choose, one thing is clear – this team needs left-handed relief help.