Chicago Cubs: Don’t expect to see Kimbrel with the Cubs
Since letting Chapman walk following the team’s 2016 championship run, Epstein has made his approach to ninth-inning guys pretty clear: buy on for pennies on the dollar and capitalize on buy-low guys.
When he traded former top prospect, Jorge Soler, to add Davis ahead of 2017, Epstein eyed a right-hander looking to re-establish his value. With Chicago, he did just that – finishing 56 games and playing a critical role in the team’s return to a third straight NLCS. Then, he packed his bags and jetted off to Colorado, inking an outlandish three-year, $52 million deal with the Rockies.
In replacing Davis, Epstein went after the brilliant, but oft-injured Brandon Morrow. That aptly describes his first year with the Cubs, where he pitched to a 1.47 ERA in the first half – before missing the rest of the season due to injury. But, where Davis got $52 million from Colorado, the Cubs added Morrow for a ‘measly’ $21 million.
Even if Craig Kimbrel’s market plummets and he settles for something close to Davis’ deal (which I personally find hard to believe, but with how this market has played out, you definitely can’t rule it out), the Cubs won’t push past the next looming luxury tax threshold to add a ninth-inning arm – even one as dominant as Craig Kimbrel.