5 free agent signings that would make the Cubs World Series contenders in 2024

Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies
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4. LHP Josh Hader

Former Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader is having a ridiculous year with the Padres as his season ERA is sitting at a stellar 0.82 in 43.2 innings pitched. Hader also has 68 strikeouts, a WHIP below 1 (0.92), and 27 saves out of 31 attempts. The southpaw is set to hit free agency and he will probably command one of the largest relief pitcher contracts in history. Edwin Diaz recently broke the record when he signed a 5-year, $100 million deal with the New York Mets this offseason. If Hader keeps this pace, he could get a similar deal or even more.

The five-time All-Star used to be a major pain in the Cubs' side, but now the team has a chance to flip the script. Although Alzolay has been excellent in his role, having Hader would make the bullpen elite overnight. Alzolay, Mark Leiter Jr., and Julian Merryweather would move down while Hader locks down the ninth. The question is whether the Cubs are willing to invest this much money into the bullpen, but with a wealth of arms making their way to MLB, I would guess no. It would sure be fun to watch Hader shut down games against the Brewers though.