Cubs have scouts following Yankees – Reportedly prepared to acquire pitching
The Cubs could be looking to make deals sooner rather than later, at least according to the Sun-Times.
The front office has been exploring ways to upgrade the pitching staff. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have publicly stated the front office is always looking for pitching.
According to a report from the Sun-Times, the Cubs “have high-ranking scouts following the Yankees.” The Cubs are looking to acquire “bullpen help, in particular left-handers.”
The Cubs have been linked heavily to LHP Andrew Miller and reports have suggested there is interest in LHP Aroldis Chapman.
The front office has a history with Andrew Miller, who is under contract control through the 2018 season at $9 million per year. Miller is having an excellent season for a Yankees team that has not played to expectations.
The Yankees are a game under .500 (31-32) and six back of the Orioles and Red Sox in the loss column in the AL East.
Miller has given up 15 hits in 26 2/3 innings this season while issuing three walks. Miller has struck out 48 of the 100 batters he’s faced. And Miller doesn’t care if he pitches in the seventh, eighth or used to close the game.
Chapman is a name that gets the media and fan base excited. Chapman comes with a lot of baggage and hasn’t produced better results on the mound than Hector Rondon.
If Brian Cashman decides to waive the white flag and make trades, the Yankees GM could deal Miller and Chapman to help infuse the big league team with young talent and prospects to a system that is lacking in impact talent.
And there will be a steep cost to acquire either one of the lefty relievers.
The Sun-Times reported Kyle Schwarber, Javier Baez and Willson Contreras “are expected to be non-starters in talks.” In other words, those three players are not available. The Cubs could use other top prospects and possibly Jorge Soler to acquire an impact, back of the bullpen reliever.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are on record saying if the front office makes any trades it would have to make sense for the team for this season and moving forward. The Cubs do not appear willing to sell out to try to win this season and will stay on course with the plan that was put in place nearly five years ago.
The Cubs have built a very deep farm system that should send a steady flow of talent to the big league team for years to come. The Cubs have not developed a top of the rotation starter and pitching remains an area of concern for the front office. The Cubs have several intriguing young pitchers, both starters and relievers, but not that “can’t miss pitching prospect” in the system.
The Cubs are expected to trade for a left-handed reliever and recent injuries could lead the front office to trade for an outfielder, and one that bats from the left side. If the Cubs trade for an outfielder, the front office would like to give Joe Maddon a lefty to help balance out the lineup.