Chicago Cubs: 3 cost-effective free agent relievers with huge upside

(Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images) /
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Travis Bergen / Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: 3 low-cost free agent relievers to consider: #1 – Travis Bergen

Travis Bergen recently elected free agency as a minor leaguer in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. In 10 2/3 innings pitched at the major league level last season, the left-hander notched a 1.69 ERA to go along with a 3.18 ERA in 22 2/3 innings of work at Triple-A Buffalo. The main area of concern for the the southpaw was his elevated WHIP of 1.456 at the Triple-A level – driven largely by a 6 BB/9 mark and 7.1 H/9. On the other hand, the lefty produced a career- best 11.9 strikeouts per nine – which is very encouraging in itself.

For his career in the majors, Bergen owns a 3.96 ERA in a small sample size of 38 2/3 innings of work. As for the minors, across the span of 129 1/3 frames, Bergen has recorded a microscopic 1.95 career ERA to go along with 168 punchouts and a WHIP of 1.152. To be quite honest, I’m not sure what else Bergen has to prove to in the minors – and the team that gives him a serious shot at the big league level could make out like bandits here.

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This is exactly the type of under-the-radar signing the Chicago Cubs need to pursue.  Even by signing Bergen to a minor league deal, you essentially give yourself a solid option to call up when needed. Though It would not be surprising if somebody winds up picking him up on a major league deal, his high upside and cost-effective contract can be one that drastically helps strengthen your bullpen while saving money to go after bigger fish.