Cubs could give White Sox badly-needed bullpen help
Willson Contreras, Ian Happ and David Robertson are not the only guys on the trade block for the Cubs. Several other notable veteran bullpen arms in addition to Robertson will likely be dealt at the deadline. This includes right-handers Mychal Givens and Chris Martin. Both are veterans over 30 and on short-term deals. Givens, in 39 appearances, has pitched to a 2.72 ERA, 3.95 FIP, 1.3 WHIP and 49 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings. Martin, despite the “meh” looking 4.50 ERA, sports a 3.22 FIP and 11.1 K/9 in 30 innings.
Meanwhile, on the other side of town, the White Sox are looking to shore up their bullpen in hopes of making a second half postseason push.
Cubs could provide what the White Sox need again at the trade deadline
The Sox have had their issues, but are still right within the AL Central race. The bullpen, however, is something they will want to address. It was recently announced that the Sox have placed Reynaldo Lopez on the 15-day IL. This comes after veteran Joe Kelly leaving Wednesday’s game due to injury and Aaron Bummer likely not returning until September. Sox GM Rick Hahn mentioned the bullpen is going to be a priority for them at the deadline.
Like last season, the Cubs could have some reinforcements for them. While nothing can be fully ruled out, it would seem more likely the Sox would buy a Givens or Martin from the Cubs than Robertson. Givens might not be a lefty, which is something the Sox really need, but he makes plenty of sense for them.
It was last season when both Ryan Tepera and Craig Kimbrel were traded from the Cubs to the Sox. Tepera netted lefty pitching prospect Bailey Horn, who has pitched to a 2.53 ERA and 11.8 K/9 in 32 innings between High-A and Double-A ball this season. Kimbrel, who was an All-Star closer for the Cubs, netted Nick Madrigal and Codi Heuer.
Some Cubs fans are probably weary of trading with the Sox again. So far the Kimbrel trade has not worked out well with Madrigal struggling and hurt and Heuer out until at least mid-2023. If the Cubs do strike a deal with the Sox for a Givens or Martin, the return would not be like the Kimbrel deal. We are talking about something closer to the Tepera trade as a return. Hard to expect an Oscar Colas for Givens or Martin, that’s for sure.
The next few days will really shape the market. One thing is for sure, there will always be a market for reliever depth. Robertson is the big reliever prize on the Cubs, but Givens and Martin should have interest from multiple squads.