3 remaining lefty-reliever Chicago Cubs targets ahead of Spring Training

Philadelphia Phillies v Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies v Miami Marlins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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After the Chicago Cubs signed Michael Fulmer, rumors continued that they still weren't done regarding the free-agent market. Notably, the Cubs are now looking for a left-handed reliever to further bolster what will quietly be a good bullpen in 2023. After fan-favorite Andrew Chafin recently signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks, options became ever the more limited - but there are still viable targets the Cubs can pursue to bolster their bullpen further.

This winter, outside of Fulmer and Brad Boxberger, It's primarily been a myriad of minor league signings that will be vying for a spot on the 26-man roster once Spring Training comes to a close at the end of March. The Cubs currently have around 12.0M under the first tier of the luxury tax, and we know the front office likes to save a few bucks for trade deadline purposes. However, Jed Hoyer must get creative in structuring deals because these relievers will be costly. Let's look at the three best remaining left-handed relievers on the market.

3 best remaining lefty-reliever targets ahead of Spring Training - Brad Hand

Let's start with Brad Hand, who has been a back end of the bullpen piece and was converted to a closer in 2017 with the San Diego Padres. Since 2016, Hand has recorded a stellar ERA of 2.89 in 429.2 IP, with a 145 ERA+ and a FIP of 3.28. Most recently, in his 12th year in the MLB, he recorded 45.0 innings and a 2.85 ERA with the Philadelphia Phillies. Now a free agent, Hand's contract demands make it tricky for the Cubs to go after him.

Last season, Hand signed in March with the Phillies on a one-year, 6.0M deal after having a down year in 2021, bouncing around from Washington, New York (Mets), and Toronto. He notched a 3.90 ERA, which was his worst mark since 2015. Now, after a solid season and an inflated market, it's hard to see Hand's price get within the price range of the Cubs unless Jed Hoyer can perhaps lure him in with a mutual option and lucrative buyout, the same way he did with Cody Bellinger, which would lower his AAV on the books for 2023. Hand only recorded five saves and didn't do as much closing in 2022, but he'd undoubtedly slide into the role for a closer-needy team like the Cubs.