The Chicago Cubs should target reliever Alex Colome in order to bolster the bullpen looking towards the 2021 season.
Free agency is underway, and so far the offseason has been relatively slow for the entire league, especially the Chicago Cubs. Luckily, the non-tender deadline, as well as MLB’s Annual Winter Meetings are rapidly approaching which should help open the floor to teams making trades and acquiring those on the free-agent market.
There is no denying that change is imminent on the north side of Chicago and there are many issues for the team to address. One of these issues includes piecing together the bullpen.
Throughout the 2020 season, the Chicago Cubs bullpen has had its up and downs. After struggling in the beginning of the season, the relief corps pulled it together and ended the season strong. In fact, the bullpen was one of the team’s biggest assets in their stinted postseason run. However, the bullpen is going to be impacted with change going into 202. Several members of the pen have hit free agency and some relievers key to the Cubs’ 2020 success may not return to the ball club. One of them is Jeremy Jeffress.
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Jeffress, 33, stepped up and pitched big innings as the team’s original closer going into the season, Craig Kimbrel found himself struggling. Jeffress posted a 1.54 ERA and a 0.943 WHIP in 2020 across 22 appearances. Jeffress also led the Cubs in saves, with a total of eight saves last season. While Jeffress is a free agent and a reunion is possible depending on the team’s finances, they need a back-up plan. Yes, a backup plan can be found in Craig Kimbrel, who struggled early in the season and later redeemed himself, but he still has not firmly regained the closer role in 2021 – at least not in my eyes.
With that being said, another viable option can be found in the free-agent market. Among the relievers available in free agency, White Sox closer Alex Colomé is an ideal choice for Chicago. Colomé, which will be turning 32 in December is a reliable bullpen arm that is capable of pitching the ninth inning, similar to Jeffress.
Over the past five seasons, Colomé has remained solid, sporting a 2.62 ERA and 1.107 WHIP. In addition, his best outings were those he spent with the White Sox. Over his tenure on the South Side, Colomé posted a 2.27 ERA and 1.032 WHIP.
In 2020 alone, Colomé allowed two earned runs in 22 ⅓ innings and posted a 0.81 ERA. With Colomé’s resume of closer experience, he would greatly bolster the Cubs’ bullpen. Who knows, maybe Chicago could sign Colomé to a reasonable, short multi-year deal to ensure the bullpen is more secure going into the 2021 season.