The Cubs are not done making additions and the front office is still exploring ways to improve the roster before the non-waiver trade deadline. The Cubs are believed to still be in on Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman according to multiple reports. And other late inning relievers could still be in play including lefty Boone Logan.
“I like making this kind of a move early,” Theo Epstein said to the beat writers. “We have not touched certain parts of our prospect inventory. That will keep us very viable for every opportunity that is still out there. I feel good about doing something you like, so you have something to fall back on. It gives you the ability to say no and draw a line. We have not touched the prospects we potentially are going to move in some bigger deals in the future.”
Epstein said the conversations the Cubs are having with other teams did not include Dan Vogelbach or Paul Blackburn. Epstein explained that by making the move for Montgomery now and addressing one of the team’s needs the Cubs will not be backed into a corner.
“It gives you the ability to say no or draw the line,” Epstein said.
Mike Montgomery will join the Cubs in Milwaukee for the opener of the Brewers series on Friday. The Cubs could use Montgomery as a starter in the future. For this season, Montgomery will be used only as a reliever to give the Cubs another lefty in the pen. And a southpaw that can get left-handers.
“We have been looking hard to improve the pen if we could,” Epstein said. “We were especially looking for a left-handed pitcher. Montgomery has really good stuff. He has been performing well this year. We really feel he is coming into his own. We really think this was a fair deal. He has a chance to help us this year and long into future.”
The Cubs feel like they are getting Montgomery at the right time and that “he’s got a chance to take off.”
“Sometimes with these bullpen pieces, it’s important to get them on the way there, maybe hasn’t fully arrived yet,” Epstein said. “I’m not saying he’s Andrew Miller, very few are, but we traded for Andrew Miller in Boston when I was there in November 2010, hoping he could put it together in the bullpen someday. And he did. That’s how some guys are. If you wait until they are fully established the price tag is virtually impossible to acquire.”
Montgomery has been on the Cubs radar. Epstein said they really like what they’ve seen from him this season. Epstein added that Montgomery has a “plus fastball” that has been in the mid-90s this season and he held the velocity in the two starts he made. Epstein described Montgomery’s curveball as a plus pitch. The Cubs like his changeup and he’s been working on a cutter.
The Cubs would like to add starting pitching and a left-handed hitting outfielder.
The Cubs are also believed to be looking for a right-handed reliever for the backend of the pen. The Cubs bullpen will look a lot different Friday than it did Wednesday and there is a very good chance it will change even more during the next homestand.
- Report from ESPN Chicago
- Report from ESPN Chicago
- Report from Bruce Levine
- Report from The Sun-Times
- Report from Comcast SportsNet
- Report from Ken Rosenthal
- Report from FanGraphs