This New York Mets player may be more valuable to the Cubs than Pete Alonso

The Chicago Cubs continue to blow leads in games that they should win and this reliever would help end that trend.
Ryan Pierse/GettyImages

The Chicago Cubs continue to blow leads late in games after receiving stellar efforts from the starting rotation.

It is a matter of time before those starting pitchers have a bad game or two of their own and when that happens the Cubs have to have a solution in the bullpen that can slam the door on opponents, otherwise this season will get away from them very quickly.

Relief pitching is inherently streaky. It takes a level of mental fortitude that few people have to come into a game and shut down offensive players that understand the importance of every at-bat and that’s why you might see a reliever be stellar one year and awful the next (or vice versa).

Two prime examples of the latter are Jeremiah Estrada of the San Diego Padres and Reed Garrett of the New York Mets. 

The Cubs gave up on Estrada after a down year in 2023 to open some space on the 40-man roster and this year he’s been one of the best stories in all of baseball with his sparkling 0.86 ERA and 35 strikeouts over 21 innings pitched. 

As frustrating as it is to see a former Cubs player go on to that success somewhere else (especially at a position of need) it’s not good enough to be frustrated - the front office actually has to do something about it.

A match made in heaven: the Chicago Cubs and Reed Garrett

Garrett has essentially done the same thing for the Mets that Estrada has done for the Padres after he was let go by the Baltimore Orioles last year. 

His 3.31 ERA isn’t as strong as Estrada’s but he does get strikeouts which is something the Cubs bullpen desperately needs. He has 51 strikeouts through 32.2 innings pitched and his FIP is 3.35 meaning that his results haven’t been impacted by profoundly good luck. According to Statcasthe’s also been one of the four toughest pitchers to square up this season with just 17.7% of his pitches getting barreled. 

This can not be the only trade that the Cubs make this season if they want to contend but it’s the kind of trade they must make if they don’t want to end up on the outside of the playoff picture looking in the way they were last fall. 

Perhaps they can increase their Pete Alonso offer slightly to have Garrett included in the deal, or perhaps they just get Garrett on his own, but either way the Cubs have to improve the bullpen or this season will be over by the end of July.