Cubs 2020 bullpen could be better and cheaper than before

Craik Kimbrel / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Craik Kimbrel / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Strop will only be back in 2020 if he works cheap

While some of the expensive relievers from 2019 who are now free agents could quite possibly agree to new contracts with the Cubs, the cost of said contracts will not be an albatross to the Cubs free agent plan this offseason. Strop, Cishek, and Brandon Kintzler will no longer be making $17.75 million as they did in 2019.

That’s right, $17.75 million. While Kintzler was suitable for the most part, Cishek and Strop had their worst years as Cubs while making career highs in salary. With both being north of six million dollars and 33 years of age in 2019, the wall seemed to hit both rights in the foreheads this past season.

In addition to the guys who toed the rubber in 2019 for the Cubs, you also have the case of Brandon Morrow. Elite when healthy, Morrow struggled to stay on the mound at all after injuries in 2018. While there was hope at different points during this past season that Morrow might return, those hopes and dreams were completely unfounded in reality. At nine million dollars, Morrow’s salary relief adds to the coffers of the Cubs in 2020.

Another expensive veteran who cost the Cubs a bit of coin in 2019 was Tyler Chatwood. Originally signed to be a starter, Chatwood flashed some of the stuff Theo Epstein and company saw when signing him to a three-year deal to be a starting pitcher. There’s been more than a little whispering about a possible return to the rotation for Chatwood, mainly if Jose Quintana would be traded at some point. While these cost savings won’t help the Cubs in a broad sense, as the money from a “reliever” would just be shifted to a “starter,” the cost of the pen would undoubtedly decrease considerably should Chatwood go back to starting.