Cubs among six teams at Zack Britton showcase this week

Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees
Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees / Adam Hunger/GettyImages

Still needing a proven left-handed option in the bullpen (really, any option capable of retiring left-handed hitters), the Cubs were one of six teams in attendance at Zack Britton's bullpen session on Wednesday.

Britton, 35, hasn't been an elite relief presence since the COVID-shortened 2020 season. Injuries have taken a heavy toll on the two-time All-Star, who threw just two-thirds of an inning in 2022 and just 19 total frames since the end of that aforementioned 2020 campaign. That could mean a discounted contract for interested suitors, which aligns perfectly with the Cubs' reported interest.

Zack Britton would be a logical gamble for a team like the Cubs

It wasn't that long ago Britton was one of the game's most prominent left-hander relievers. From 2014 to 2020, the lefty made 396 appearances, working to a 2.93 FIP, 1.051 WHIP and 230 ERA+. The last two years have made it clear, though, that betting on him returning to form is a high-stakes gamble and one that probably won't pay off - at least in the sense he's unlikely to be an All-Star at this point.

But if he can be had on a one-year deal at low cost, he's an ideal addition for a team like the Cubs. Not only do they have an impressive track record in recent years with similar veteran relief pitchers, but a revamped internal pitching development infrastructure could lure Britton to the North Side and, hopefully, help him be a valuable asset to the team in 2023.

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And if that's the case, but the team struggles, Jed Hoyer and Carter Hawkins have demonstrated what they're capable of when trading these guys to contenders: just look what they got in return for a few months of 37-year-old David Robertson last summer. Chicago doesn't have to be all-in on Britton, though, with a handful of other lefty arms still looking for homes as spring training gets started this week.