Cubs Rumors: Three bullpen targets in free agency

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Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Aaron Loup would add left-handed depth

One of the biggest problems as it related to the 2020 Cubs’ bullpen was the absence of a quality left-handed option.

Chicago acquired Andrew Chafin and Josh Osich at the trade deadline. But injury issues limited Chafin to just three innings, and Osich gave up three runs in just 2 2/3 innings of work.

The Cubs should get some lefty help next season from a healthy Brad Wieck. But they need more depth.

It is possible the Cubs could go after Tony Watson, but Aaron Loup could be a more realistic target. The San Francisco Giants might try to re-sign Watson, while the Tampa Bay Rays could let Loup walk given the arms they churn out in their system.

Loup had a 2.52 ERA in 25 innings this season. His career ERA and FIP numbers are nearly identical, and he has even more upside if he can regain some of the strikeout stuff he possessed in his last few seasons (2016-17) with the Toronto Blue Jays.

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The 32-year-old is like Clippard in that he mixes pitches, and sets up his changeup as the primary “out” pitch. Loup also had a ground ball rate of at least 51 percent in both 2017 and 2018, something he can carry forward if he continues to establish the sinker and has more success with the curveball in keeping hitters guessing.

Loup is as good a target as any if the Cubs look to add some left-handed pitching.