The peak of Cubs rumors season is upon us – and the trade market looks to favor sellers, at least when it comes to impact arms who could be on the move.
With Craig Kimbrel, the most highly-coveted reliever on the market, already locked up for the next three years, one of the longest-running Cubs rumors can, finally, be put to bed. But that doesn’t mean Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have finished their shopping ahead of next month’s trade deadline.
According to Bruce Levine of 670 WSCR, Chicago is focused on adding a ‘high-leverage lefty reliever’ ahead of the July 31 deadline. This arm would compliment Mike Montgomery and Kyle Ryan, both of whom have struggled at times during the 2019 season.
There’s no shortage of arms out there on teams likely to unload, either. The Cleveland Indians and San Francisco Giants headline that list – and a few other clubs may join them by the time July rolls around. But that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy for Epstein to land his preferred arm. This market is shaping up to be in selling teams’ favor with several contenders looking to shore up their bullpen.
Chicago will likely be joined by the likes of Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Philadephia, Atlanta and St. Louis in their pursuit of bullpen help – and that’s just in the National League. All of those clubs rank in the middle of the pack in terms of reliever ERA heading into action Thursday – and all are within four games of a postseason berth.
So what will the Cubs need to do in the next six weeks? Keep their options open – and be ready to pull the trigger on deals that might not be easy to swallow for fans.