Chicago Cubs News: Bullpen update, Nico Hoerner, and more

New York Yankees v Texas Rangers - Game Two
New York Yankees v Texas Rangers - Game Two / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

The Chicago Cubs bolstered their bullpen on Friday with the signing of right-handed relief pitcher Michael Fulmer. While the Cubs were known to be targeting help for their bullpen entering the 2023 season, the addition of Fulmer was surprising given the need that the team has a left-handed reliever.

Andrew Chafin signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend worth $5.5MM. The deal includes a $7.25MM club option for 2024 and Chafin could earn an additional $1MM if he reaches at least 55 appearances this season. Given the team-friendly caveats on Chafin's deal, that has led to speculation that the Cubs may still be in a position to add a veteran reliever before Opening Day. That was the line that was dropped in The Athletic this morning as Patrick Mooney and Sahadev Sharma previewed the Cubs' Spring Training.

"Even with the recent addition of Fulmer, it’s possible the Cubs aren’t quite done yet and could bring in a veteran lefty."

The Athletic

Veteran Matt Moore is another left-handed reliever that the Cubs have been linked to and he posted a 1.95 ERA in 63 appearances with the Texas Rangers last season. Moore has a career 4.45 ERA but when used as a reliever, he has an ERA of 3.56.

Nico Hoerner extension now makes sense for both sides

Last week, we made the case for why the Cubs need to extend second baseman Nico Hoerner now and a similar case was made in the aforementioned article in The Athletic today:

"That he’s coming off a strong defensive season at shortstop means it’s probably in his best interest to seriously consider signing an extension now — and use other shortstops as comps — rather than getting pigeon-holed as a second baseman in the future. Perhaps that pushes both sides toward an agreement."

The Athletic

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