Chicago Cubs: 3 areas the front office must improve this winter

Michael Brakebill
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(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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Codi Heuer / Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: 3 areas to improve this winter – 3. Bullpen

Let’s start off with the bullpen. After a flurry of moves then sent the team’s top three relievers away at the trade deadline in Craig Kimbrel, Andrew Chafin and Ryan Tepera, the Cubs were left with guys that have shown potential but also lacked a solid veteran presence. After Dillon Maples, Codi Heuer and Adrian Sampson, it was mostly guys playing around average or far below.

Once the three-headed monster departed, the bullpen was left with gaping holes or players that started hot and finished poorly. The Cubs will have to improve the back end especially if they are looking to be even remotely competitive in 2022. As it sits, Heuer is mostly in line for closer duties – with Rowan Wick in the mix, as well – but you want to see the front office bring in someone with more experience and dominance in that department.

After Kimbrel struggled mightily with the White Sox, it will be very interesting to see if the South Siders even pick up his 2022 option this winter. If they don’t, the Cubs need to come calling and get their guy back. The differences between the North and South Sides for Kimbrel have been night and day.

He went from having one of his best seasons ever to one of his worst. If there’s something about Wrigley Field and the crowd that gets him going and he just has more success at Wrigley in general, Chicago can look to capitalize by bringing him back into the mix.