3 relief pitchers the Chicago Cubs probably regret not signing
The Chicago Cubs are off to a respectable 12-9 start to the season, and we are seeing an offense produce at a promising level for the first time in years. The starting rotation is also fairly strong with Justin Steele, Marcus Stroman, and Drew Smyly off to hot starts. Perhaps the most glaring weakness on the roster is the bullpen, which does not have a designated closer yet. The most logical choice before the season began was Michael Fulmer, but his performance has been atrocious in his first 10 appearances. He has blown two saves and given up 9 earned runs over his 9.1 innings pitched including 2 home runs.
With Fulmer's struggles mounting and Julian Merryweather not trustworthy in high-leverage situations, the Cubs' failure to add more bullpen help in the offseason is starting to affect the team more apparently by the day. Here are three guys that the Cubs probably regret not signing prior to the 2023 season.
1. Andrew Chafin
Left-handed reliever Andrew Chafin is back to whiffing hitters while sporting a Kenny Powers reminiscent mullet and handle bar mustache. Chafin formerly spent parts of two seasons with the Cubs, where he became a fan favorite for his iconic look and his impressive work on the mound. He was the ideal offseason target for the Cubs who needed and continue to need another lefty in the pen in addition to Brandon Hughes, and they were already familiar with his repertoire.
Chafin even signed late in the offseason, not inking his reunion with the Diamondbacks until the middle of February. With a 2.89 ERA and three saves in 11 games pitched, I bet the Cubs regret not matching the Diamondbacks $6.25 million offer. Chafin also has a club option for the 2024 season. Maybe Chafin was unwilling to return to the Cubs because they traded him to the Oakland Athletics during the 2021 fire sale. But the Diamondbacks also traded him and he resigned with them so who knows.