The Chicago Cubs have a glaring bullpen need and reports indicate the Oakland Athletics have placed former All-Star Blake Treinen on the block.
At season’s end, the Cubs saw three of their most important relievers hit the open market in Steve Cishek, Brandon Kintzler and Pedro Strop. While those three names rightfully garner most of the headlines, the team’s list of departures doesn’t stop there.
Chicago also parted ways with Derek Holland, Tony Barnette, Kendall Graveman, Xavier Cedeno, David Phelps and Brandon Morrow. Without additions, the club will enter 2020 with a largely unproven relief corps that would rely heavily on young arms and veteran closer Craig Kimbrel.
So it stands to reason the team will be monitoring the Hot Stove rumors intently in the weeks and months to come. The free agent market lacks a lot of impact talent when it comes to late-inning arms – so the Cubs might have to restock their bullpen via trade.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription required), the Oakland Athletics are ‘discussing trades’ for right-hander Blake Treinen, among others, looking to alleviate a payroll crunch.
Although Treinen struggled a great deal in 2019, he’s one year removed from a historic performance – and given he has just one year of control left, he could come at a palatable price for teams minding their own payroll limitations, including Chicago.