Chicago Cubs: Could the front office add more bullpen help?

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(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /
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The Chicago Cubs might not be done adding to the bullpen, which has become their weakness on an overall good team.

The Chicago Cubs got the guy they wanted and desperately needed to man the back-end of their bullpen last week in Craig Kimbrel. Monday’s bullpen showing was another reason to believe the Cubs are not done adding to their bullpen, however.

Right now, the Cubs have no left-handed specialist they can rely on. Currently, the roster has Mike Montgomery and Kyle Ryan.

Montgomery has really struggled in his 15.2 innings of work this season. Opponents are hitting .348 against him to go with his 5.12 ERA. His best outing was on May 9 when he pitched five innings of relief against the Miami Marlins and only allowed three hits.

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Last night Joe Maddon used him in a high leverage spot, and it ended up costing the Cubs a win as he allowed one run on two hits, failing to finish the inning in the Cubs 6-5 loss in Colorado.

Ryan’s numbers are better, but he’s been a roller coaster. His 4.57 ERA and 3.65 FIP look too high for someone the Cubs want to use in late-game situations consistently.

Xavier Cedeno was signed this offseason, but he’s been on the injured list since May 21. He also began the season on the injured list. He began his rehab assignment on June 9 and will likely return within the next week, but after two stints on the IL, I’m not betting he’s going to become the Cubs shutdown lefty they need.

With the trade deadline looming, World Series contenders will be looking to add as sellers look to compile assets for the future.

San Francisco Giants left-handed reliever Will Smith has been in trade talks most of the first half of the season. Smith is arguably producing his best numbers of his career, sporting a 2.19 ERA, 1.97 FIP, 12.77 K/9, 1.82 BB/9, a 46.4 percent groundball rate and a 21.4 percent infield fly rate over 24 2/3 frames. Smith has also converted all 14 of his save opportunities.

Adding Smith to the mix of Pedro Strop, Steve Cishek and Kimbrel would just fatten the Cubs chances of closing out close games much easier. Unfortunately, Smith’s contract ends after the season. Meaning he’d be a true rental.

Perhaps, the Cubs could move Ian Happ for him? Giving up on the potential like Happ’s for a half a season from Smith seems silly but who else do the Cubs have in their system that would attract the Giants?

Adbert Alzolay, the Cubs top pitching prospect, is another option but I’m not sure they want to move their best arm in the system that lacks pitching for the future already.

The Cubs will likely have to move someone from the major league roster if they want to land Smith. Maybe Victor Caratini? Nonetheless, the Cubs will play the market and see if they can manage another deal before the end of July.

Next. Craig Kimbrel doesn't fix everything. dark

If they don’t make a move, Tyler Chatwood and even Dillon Maples could become a big x-factor in the second half of the season. Carl Edwards Jr. may see an increased role, too, as he’s been lights out since returning from Iowa.

Unfortunately, though, none of the latter is a southpaw.

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