Chicago Cubs: Looking at potential acquisitions to bolster the bullpen

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Ready to begin what seems likely to be a rather unpredictable offseason, the Chicago Cubs should focus their attention on improving the bullpen.

The Chicago Cubs offseason has just begun, and it has been anything but predictable. With the hiring of former catcher David Ross as skipper and the amount of impending free agents on the squad, it’s hard to conjure what should be expected of the team this winter. Though there are many issues that the front office needs to address, one of the most crucial is the need to bolster the bullpen.

This time last year, we knew the bullpen had the potential to be a question mark for the 2019 club. But, we figured the front office would make their moves and pull the right levers to reshape it into something more acceptable. That never really played out to the extent we’d all have liked, due to financial limitations that kept offseason additions to a minimum last winter.

The Chicago Cubs bullpen performed decently well, ranking eighth in ERA this year – but struggling immensely in high-leverage spots. Craig Kimbrel struggled in his first go-round with the club but will probably be the team’s closer for the foreseeable future regardless. But, putting Kimbrel aside,  many of the key pieces of the pen are set to become unrestricted free agents this offseason. Among the bullpen arms hitting free agency are Steve Cishek, Brandon Kintzler and Pedro Strop.