The Chicago Cubs have added the bullpen piece they think will help them win the World Series. Now, it appears the team is going after another bat.
The Chicago Cubs have to be happy with the way their newest acquisition pitched in his debut, even if it wasn’t a save opportunity. Aroldis Chapman pitched his first inning back in the National League on Wednesday night and struck out two batters. ESPN reports he was reaching 103 MPH on the radar gun.
It wasn’t a save opportunity because an offense that had been struggling was suddenly able to score eight runs. It appears the Cubs played an old game that some fans refer to as “f**k the closer.”
— WGN TV News (@WGNNews) July 28, 2016
That game was played more often when Chicago was getting off to its historic start to the season. Should the team be willing to play that game more as the season enters the stretch run, they might not need to get another bat.
On the other hand, if the team does indeed need to add some more offense, it looks like Josh Redick might be a top target. The Oakland A’s outfielder hit 20 homers a year ago, but his power has dipped a bit this season.
Still, there are many who believe he’s the best hitter available on the trade market this season, and there are plenty of Major League Baseball teams seeking his services. Jon Morosi reported on Twitter that the Cubs, Indians, and Dodgers are all after the outfielder.
The team has been adrift for the last few months after looking like no one could beat them in April and May. Over their last 70 games, the franchise has posted a 0.500 record.
The struggles have had some fans quite nervous, and it appears the front office is nervous as well. While Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have been preaching patience and calm, they traded four minor leaguers (including Adam Warren, who the club acquired from the Yankees in the offseason) for Chapman.
Among those minor leaguers was the team’s top prospect, infielder Gleyber Torres. Chicago also traded Billy McKinney, who they acquired two years ago from the Oakland A’s.
Redick isn’t the only bat Epstein is reportedly looking at in order to bolster the offense. Rumors have the front office looking at Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce as well. Bruce has had a bit of a resurgent offensive season, but some wonder if that resurgence can be trusted.
Other rumors say Epstein and Hoyer are more interested in improving their squad both this year and in the long term. Since arriving in town, Epstein has been known to love getting his hands on players who are cost-controlled for a long period.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 25, 2016
There are some pitchers on the Tampa Bay Rays who certainly fit that description. ESPN is reporting Epstein and Hoyer have had talks with the Rays about pitchers Matt Moore and Jake Odorizzi.
The holdup when it comes to making that trade so far has been Epstein not being willing to trade off their major league pieces. Other teams are wanting to get a hold of players like Kyle Schwarber and Javier Baez. The front office has been loath to trade players they believe will contribute this season or next.
There has even been some talk that Chris Archer, once a farmhand for the team before Epstein was a part of it, could be coming back to town. Of course, that rumor appears to be one that would require the Chicago Cubs to give up more than they appear willing to give up. Perhaps the chance for multiple World Series wins is attractive enough to make that trade.
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