Chicago Cubs: Things could be even worse with Davis
You can expect at least some degree of a bounceback in 2020, but unless he somehow reverts back to his All-Star form of the past, the Rockies are burning money at this point. Davis has shown that he’s not the same guy he once was – and, regardless of what we might think of Chicago’s late-inning situation, having Davis in tow would have handicapped the Cubs even more.
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After Davis signed with Colorado, Epstein turned to former Los Angeles standout setup man Brandon Morrow. The right-hander started off hot, pitching to a 1.47 ERA in 35 appearances before hitting the shelf. Unfortunately, to this point he is yet to return – although he returned to the organization via a minor league deal this winter in hopes of still making a comeback.
His injuries, paired with inconsistencies in the bullpen last year, prompted Epstein to go out and ink Craig Kimbrel to a three-year, $43 million deal last summer. Of course, he struggled a great deal and heading into 2020, remains a big question mark in the Chicago bullpen.
But the Cubs are hoping that with a normal offseason (although the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, that’s been cast into question, as well) – Kimbrel can return to form. Chicago had pieces in place to replace Davis when he left: Pedro Strop, Rondon, Morrow and others. The simple truth is this: Epstein saw the writing on the wall three years ago and made the right call.
Today’s situation, one where the bullpen is being pieced together in spring training, would only be worsened by Davis’ contract on the books. The team’s ongoing financial woes might somehow be even more problematic, as well. As great as he was in his one year with the Chicago Cubs, letting him walk in free agency was undoubtedly and irrefutably the right move.