MLB insider Jon Heyman listed the Chicago Cubs among several teams in the mix to sign veteran reliever Ryan Brasier, who enjoyed a career renaissance with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2023.
Heyman also listed the Dodgers as potential suitors, who signed Brasier to a minor league contract on June 5 after the Boston Red Sox designated him for assignment. Brasier proceeded to become an integral part of the Dodgers bullpen last season, posting an impressive 0.70 ERA over 38.2 innings pitched while striking out 38 batters.
Prior to 2023, Brasier spent five seasons with the Red Sox where he saw a mix of injury-plagued seasons and generally lackluster numbers when healthy. But teams will be in on Brasier after his dominant string of outings down the stretch and the 36-year-old is exactly the type of reliever Cubs President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer has targeted in recent years. This strategy has been hit or miss with guys like Andrew Chafin and David Robertson succeeding, while others like Brad Boxberger and Michael Fulmer failed to exceed expectations.
But given his age and track record of up-and-down performance, Brasier will not command an earth-shattering number so Hoyer will definitely be interested. And more power to him because the Cubs need more veteran arms in the bullpen and Brasier will have a chance to see if he can replicate what the Dodgers seemed to have unlocked in him last year.
Although most Cubs fans would rather be talking about the team signing a big name free agent, it's moves like this that could pay off big time in terms of return on investment. The proof of that lies in what the team got from Julian Merryweather and Mark Leiter Jr. last year, who both signed minor-league deals and subsequently became the most reliable relief weapons.