Acquiring Kevin Gausman could give the Cubs the pitching depth they need.
As the trade deadline is rapidly approaching, the Cubs find themselves atop of the NL Central. While, to this point, things have overall gone well for the North Siders in this 60-game abbreviated season, there are always additions and changes that could be made to ensure continued success. There is no denying Chicago would greatly benefit from acquiring a big bat or a center fielder but their greatest need is pitching depth. Pitcher Kevin Gausman would be a great addition to fill this need.
Though the Cubs have tried to trade for the 29-year-old righty a number of times, they’re yet to pull it off. When the Baltimore Orioles put Gausman up for grabs in 2018, the Atlanta Braves snatched him up before Theo Epstein could. In 2019, Gausman found himself struggling in Atlanta and he ended up with the Cincinnati Reds, with whom he pitched out of the bullpen. Though his tenure with the Braves was rather unsuccessful, Gausman turned his 2019 around and had a better second half.
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Despite his improvements, the Reds non-tendered him and he ended up signing with the San Francisco Giants on a one-year, $9 million deal looking toward the 2020 season. Even before this year’s season was shortened, the Giants probably would have used Gausman as a trade chip. So, the team probably wanted to flip him even more than before and what better time would it be for the Cubs to grab him now?
While Gausman has been a starting pitcher for most of his major league career, his time out of the bullpen in Cincinnati before shows that he could be an addition to either the starting rotation or the bullpen. The bullpen’s woes have been prevalent since early this season and the team’s starting rotation has been questionable. There is still no knowing how Quintana’s performance will fare for the remainder of the season and Tyler Chatwood’s back situation is unpredictable. That’s two starters right there.
The Cubs making it to the postseason is more likely than not and an experienced arm like Gausman would be an easy, flexible option down the road. Gausman is currently posting a 4.54 ERA with 48 strikeouts over 35 innings pitched. Over the course of his career, he holds a 4.31 ERA.
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At the moment, Chicago is not rumored to be pursuing Gausman but who knows what this trade deadline will hold. Who knows, maybe we will see the right-hander at the Friendly Confines this year.