Chicago Cubs could find answers via Monday’s non-tender deadline

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs could profit from the A’s current position

Blake Treinen is definitely one of the more intriguing names folks around the game are speculating could be cut loose at the non-tender deadline. Of course, the Oakland Athletics are already shopping the right-hander who, after a historic 2018 performance, took some big steps backward in 2019.

The 31-year-old hurler was nothing short of masterful two years ago, working 80 1/3 innings of 0.78 ERA ball for the A’s. He kept the ball in the yard (0.2 HR/9), struck out well over a batter per frame (11.2 K/9) and limited the self-inflicted damage (2.4 BB/9). All signs pointed up for a guy who’d had a solid, yet unspectacular big league career to that point.

But last year was an entirely different story altogether, as the former seventh-round pick struggled in almost every way. He allowed home runs at a pace six times higher than the year prior, saw his strikeout rate decrease and his walk rate more than double. In short, it was a very uninspiring performance for a guy one year from hitting the open market.

All that being said, he still has great stuff – and that alone will likely be enough for a team to take a chance on him. We all know how great the Cubs’ need is in the bullpen. Aside from Craig Kimbrel, there are a lot of question marks – and even Kimbrel is no guarantee given his 2019 performance.

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Chicago would face stiff competition for Treinen if the A’s part ways with him on Monday – but he checks a lot of the boxes the team is likely to look for in a late-inning arm to pair with Kimbrel. We’ll see how it plays out, but he’s an arm I’d love to see in the mix next spring.