Wade Davis was one of the most dominant closers in baseball during the 2017 MLB season for the Chicago Cubs. He was an integral piece to their regular season and was dominant in the postseason as well. Now, the Cubs are facing the possibility of losing a star closer for the second straight year in free agency.
Last year, the Cubs saw Aroldis Chapman sign with the New York Yankees. They cannot allow Davis to walk away this offseason after having such a big season in 2017.
Throughout the course of the 2017 season for the Cubs, Davis only blew one save. He finished the year with a 2.30 ERA and 32 saves. Davis saved four games in the playoffs, although he did have an ERA of 4.26.
Looking ahead to free agency, Davis is expected to have a big market. Many believe that he will get a contract in the area of four years and $60 million. If that is indeed his price, Theo Epstein should pony up and pay to keep one of the best closers in the league.
Reports have come out that the Cubs are eyeing Brandon Morrow as a potential replacement for Davis. Others have speculated that the Cubs could try to acquire Zach Britton from the Baltimore Orioles. Even more ideas of Carl Edwards Jr. becoming the new closer for Chicago have been mentioned.
All of those options could be solid, but they are not the type of comfort and dominance that Davis brings to the mound.
At 32 years of age, Davis is still with the four years and $60 million that it would likely take to re-sign him. Chicago had an extremely inconsistent bullpen last season, with Davis being the only bullpen arm that Joe Maddon could depend on each and every day. That is something that the Cubs cannot afford to lose if they hope to make a run at the World Series next season.
Chicago is expected to deal with teams like the St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros, Texas Rangers, and even the Washington Nationals trying to sign Davis, as noted by MLB Trade Rumors. It won’t be easy to bring him back, but Davis does like the organization and has talked about enjoying playing for Maddon.
If Epstein and the Cubs’ front office is willing to pay the money that Davis wants, it seems very likely that he would like to remain in Chicago.
Morrow would be a solid option if Davis does not return, but he has had health and consistency issues throughout his career. Britton would be a nice addition, but Baltimore’s asking price in trade talks is going to be high. Edwards Jr. isn’t a bad pitcher, but he showed major consistency flaws last season, especially in the playoffs.
Davis may cost a lot of money, but money should not be an issue for the Cubs. Closing out games wins championships and that is what Davis can bring to the table on a consistent basis.
Expect to see the Cubs talk with Davis as soon as possible about a new deal. Whether they will be willing to pay the money that he is looking for or not will be the question.
Chicago cannot afford to lose Davis this offseason and must do everything in their power to bring him back next season to resume his closing duties at the back of the Cubs’ bullpen.
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