The Chicago Cubs bullpen won't be fixed through a trade for a big-name reliever

Jed Hoyer passed on Josh Hader this winter and there's no reason to think his approach to bullpen building will suddenly change amidst the team's sea of injuries.
Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros
Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros / Logan Riely/GettyImages

The thought of Mason Miller coming in from the doors set in the ivy-colored left field wall at Wrigley Field to slam the door and notch a save is certainly enticing. Seeing him blow a 103 MPH fastball past a guy for the last out of the game would send the Wrigley Field faithful into a tizzy on a sunny Friday afternoon, giving the Chicago Cubs a shutdown closer for the first time in years.

But it's never going to happen.

Jed Hoyer has always been meticulous when assembling his bullpens, opting for reclamation projects and aging veterans instead of unloading cash or prospects to land high-profile ninth-inning arms. The lone exception came back in 2016, when the Cubs traded Gleyber Torres for Aroldis Chapman en route to a 108-year drought-snapping World Series title.

Sahadev Sharma and Patrick Mooney at The Athletic (subscription required) pointed out in a recent piece that the Cubs are notoriously active for in-season additions, especially in the bullpen. But they rarely, if ever, over-extend themselves or go all-in on one major piece. Just look at the names the team has brought in over the years: Justin Wilson, Andrew Chafin, Brandon Kintzler, Jesse Chavez, Trevor Cahill - these are hardly household names.

Yes, the Craig Kimbrel signing bucked the trend. But, again, that was solely because the Cubs were able to wait him out and avoid any sort of draft pick compensation.

Cubs and Jed Hoyer have shown us time and time again how they plan on building out a bullpen from year-to-year

This winter, even with serious bullpen needs, Chicago was never seriously interested in five-time All-Star and three-time Reliever of the Year Josh Hader, who was eyeing a record deal. He got it, signing a five-year, $95 million deal with the Houston Astros, and suffice it to say the early returns aren't looking great for Astros GM Dana Brown.

Take all this logic and apply it to the constant calls from fans for the Cubs to trade for Mason Miller, the young breakout closer in Oakland. If you think about it, you can see that's not the type of move Hoyer makes.

The big need right now is for the Chicago Cubs to get healthy - period. The pitching staff has been decimated by injuries, with internal 40-man options running thin. Hoyer and Carter Hawkins are constantly looking for ways to add depth and we saw that this week with the Tyson Miller addition. But one thing is for sure: they're not going to bottom out the farm system and put all their hope in one guy to save this pen - and this season.