Chicago Cubs: Not addressing the bullpen would be nothing short of negligent
This is supposed to be the peak of the Cubs’ current championship window. In Major League Baseball, such windows rarely last longer than five or so years – and we’re now entering year four (or five) – depending on how you’re counting.
They shelled out $20 million to keep Cole Hamels in the fold – rounding out one of the priciest starting rotations in all of Major League Baseball. With Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant at the heart of the order, the offense has enough firepower (when its on-point) to blow away the competition. Sure, there are question marks after last year’s second half cold spell, but the talent is undoubtedly there.
The same cannot be said for the relief corps, despite the strong efforts of guys like Steve Cishek and Pedro Strop. With the likes of Duensing, an injured-more-than-not Morrow, Tyler Chatwood, Carl Edwards Jr. and Brandon Kintzler rounding out the cast – Theo Epstein, Tom Ricketts and anyone who has a say in how this offseason plays out – would be doing this franchise a disservice in not making something happen.
I’m not saying that it’s that simple – it’s not. I’m sure Epstein would love a $400 million payroll. But that’s not how things work. But this current construction of the Chicago Cubs is unlikely to attain its pre-stated goal: win another World Series – and you can’t accept that without shoring up this team’s most glaring weakness this offseason.