Cubs Rumors: Athletics looking to unload reliever Blake Treinen

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Which Treinen will we see come 2020?

If you hadn’t seen Treinen pitch prior to 2019, you might think I’m crazy for mentioning him as a potential addition to pair with Kimbrel in the late innings. The right-hander turned in a clunker of a campaign, eventually leading to his losing the closer’s job late in the season.

According to Baseball Reference, Treinen was worth -0.3 WAR this year – and it’s not hard to see why. His WHIP essentially doubled year-over-year, going from 0.834 to 1.619 and he saw his walk rate skyrocket to just under six walks per nine. That’s hardly a sustainable rate for a guy who gets the ball in high-leverage spots.

It wasn’t just walks that hurt the right-hander, either. He allowed base hits and home runs at a staggering rate, as well. No matter where he put the ball, opponents made more contact in 2019 – and they chased outside of the zone far less often than they did the year prior. 

Treinen still has the velocity the Cubs are rumored to be targeting in arms this winter. He averaged  over 97 MPH with his fastball – so the stuff seems to clearly be there. The only question for Theo Epstein and David Ross? Could the organization tap into it and get him back on track?