Jon Heyman provided an update on the Cubs search to upgrade the bullpen, specifically the backend to help Hector Rondon and Pedro Strop late in games.
The Cubs have been interested in acquiring LHP Andrew Miller for quite some time. Theo Epstein and the front office, along with Jon Lester and David Ross, have ties to Miller from their days together in Boston. Lester would welcome a reunion with Miller, plus he could call him ‘Jesus’ again once Miller was able to grow his beard and long hair back.
Miller is reportedly as good in the clubhouse as he in on the mound and would fit with the Cubs culture. Miller has the team-first attitude that has helped make the Cubs very successful under Joe Maddon.
Heyman reported that Miller “is believed to top their wish list of relievers.” The Yankees have not decided whether or not to trade him. And due to his contract, a team will have to pay hefty price to acquire him.
The Cubs are one of several teams that have touched base with the Yankees about Miller. Jim Bowden recently broke down what he thinks it would cost for the Cubs, Nationals, Giants, Rangers, or Cardinals to acquire him.
Bowden feels a deal that includes Jorge Soler as part of a package for Miller would be enough for the Yankees. Bowden thinks the Cubs could put together a strong package of position-player prospects without including Gleyber Torres, a player his sources have indicated would not be available “in that type of deal.” Another option would be for the Cubs to build a package around Ian Happ.
Jim Bowden opined the Cubs would be willing to send Jorge Soler or Ian Happ “in a package of two or three prospects” to the Yankees for Andrew Miller.
Jon Heyman also reported the Cubs “would love Yankees reliever Dellin Betances, of course, but wouldn’t even ask.” The Cubs reportedly had scouts at Yankee Stadium on two different occasions to watch Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances pitch.
The Cubs are not interested, according to Heyman, in a reunion with Arodys Vizcaino. The Cubs traded Vizcaino back to the Braves for Tommy La Stella. Heyman does not know why the Cubs would not be interested in trading for Vizcaino for a second time.
Arodys Vizcaino has a ton of talent but is one positive drug test away from a 162-game suspension. And the Braves will be asking a lot in return for a reliever that is nearing a career-high for innings pitched in a single season and has not had to pitch late in a game that actually means something.
When it comes to the front office acquiring players from outside the organization look for a connection to the team, management or coaching staff. If there isn’t one, that player is probably not an option the Cubs are strongly considering.