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: Could Morrow be back in 2020?

As noted, the Cubs have shedded the high-priced vet salaries of Morrow, Strop, Kintzler, and Cishek. At over $26 million in 2019,  none of the quartets will be commanding the types of salaries they did in 2018 or 2019 on the open market this winter. If push comes to shove and the winter becomes a little too cold for any of the four, could there be a reunion at a reduced price?

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Granted, Strop and Cishek may be done as they will both be in their mid-thirties during the 2020 season. However, if there’s a chance Cishek was overworked and Strop was struggling through the hamstring injury all season, would it hurt anyone to take a flyer on either for a couple of million dollars?

I acknowledge it isn’t my money, but there are worse ideas than bringing back guys who were good in 2018 but had down years in 2019. Ditto for Kintzler, except his good year came just this past one.

If the Cubs don’t end up going back to the well for their guys at a reduced salary for 2020, expect Epstein and Hoyer to do some dumpster diving for non-tendered players in the near future. In addition, you can be sure they’ll wait out some of the higher-priced free agent relievers in hopes that the asking price will come down as Spring Training draws near.

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Can we win in 2020 with one expensive closer and a bunch of league minimum guys running out of the pen? It remains to be seen. What we do know is that the pen is probably going to be cheaper if nothing else.