3 pending free agents to let walk - 2. Brad Boxberger
Brad Boxberger has been a solid reliever throughout his big-league career, with a mark of a 3.49 ERA lifetime. Even though he's only pitched 16.2 frames in a Cubs uniform this season, and his 4.86 ERA is primarily due to not entirely knocking off the rust yet, the Cubs can still save money and find guys that will be more productive than both of Boxberger's 2023 and his career numbers overall. Boxberger has a 5.0M option for 2024 that he will want to opt into, but the Cubs need to pass on.
Looking at pending relief free agents, that 5.0M can be spent on players having much better seasons that can help fortify the bullpen for next year. That money can go towards saving money on a cheaper, more efficient arm or be used as part of the funds to spend on a more expensive proven relievers contract. Also, given that the Cubs are looking to promote prospects, bullpen roles will be needed to avoid blocking certain players. The more significant issue is getting another lockdown, late-inning arm, even if it means pinching pennies this winter. The Cubs must do so to afford who they want for next season.