The Cubs are looking for ways to improve the bullpen and have already been connected to RHP Rafael Soriano, RHP Tyler Clippard and RHP Jonathan Papelbon. According to a report from the Sun-Times, LHP Oliver Perez can be added to the list.
Gordon Wittenmyer reported the Cubs have been linked to Diamondbacks’ left hander Oliver Perez by a team source. The Cubs and Diamondbacks worked out a deal at the Winter Meetings that sent RHP Jefferson Mejia and RHP Zack Godley to Arizona for C Miguel Montero. And reportedly the two teams could be discussing another trade.
LHP Oliver Perez would give the Cubs an “eight-man bullpen” according to the Sun-Times, four lefties and four right handers. Perez hasn’t exactly welcomed the idea of being traded from Arizona in the past. Perez has a home in Arizona and would like to finish his career with the Diamondbacks.
Perez is on the final season of a two-year, $4.25 million contract that pays him $2.5 million this year.
After posting a 3-4 record in 68 appearances out of the Diamondbacks’ pen a year ago with a 2.91 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP and a 3.23 FIP, Perez has struggled this season. In 23 games, Perez is 1-1 with a 6.17 ERA, a 1.80 WHIP and a 4.84 FIP. Perez has allowed 16 hits with five walks and 15 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings.
Perez has been effective against left handers this season while right handers have feasted off the southpaw. Lefties have managed a .192/.276/.310 slash line with a .560 OPS while right handers have thumped him to the tune of a .440/.533/.533 line with a .990 OPS.
For his career, left handers have hit .234/.322/.324 against him while right handers have put together a .248/.353/.359 line.
It is unknown what the Diamondbacks could possibly want in return for Oliver Perez other than salary relief.
If the Cubs were to acquire Oliver Perez, based on the current roster the bullpen could consist of lefties Travis Wood, James Russell and Zac Rosscup along with right handers Hector Rondon, Justin Grimm, Jason Motte and Pedro Strop.
With Edwin Jackson basically just taking a roster spot, the Cubs might have to cut ties with him in order to build a competitive bullpen that Joe Maddon can depend on.
Depending on the direction the front office takes to find solutions for the bullpen, there could be a lot of changes to the Cubs roster in the coming weeks.