Chicago Cubs: Some bullpen backup
The Cubs bullpen ended up being a strength in 2018, but a rash of injuries late in the season left the team without a true closer. If Brandon Morrow rebounds from injury in 2019, he will fill the role of closer. But it would still help to add some bullpen pieces for backup in case Morrow struggles with injuries again. Signing Gonzalez rather than Harper or Machado would allow them to do that.
A couple of viable options for backup include Zach Britton and Andrew Miller. One element the Cubs’ bullpen lacked in 2019 was a power lefty reliever, and either of these two could provide that.
Britton wasn’t great in 2018 with the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees, but from 2014 to 2016 he was lights out. His 2018 struggles could help the Cubs get him for a cheaper price.
Miller struggled in 2018 as well, battling injuries throughout the season. But he’s another lefty who could rebound in 2018. From 2014 to 2017, he was one of the best relievers in baseball. He could also be signed for cheaper to improve the bullpen if the Cubs stayed away from Harper or Machado.
Harper or Machado would be beneficial to any team. But in an offseason when the Cubs have more than one issue to address, it might be smarter to spread the wealth and sign a few different, less expensive free agents rather than one superstar.