Cubs have legitimate interest in Wade Davis, Brad Ziegler and Jerry Blevins while monitoring Kenley Jansen
Jed Hoyer said Monday at the Winter Meetings, “It’s safe to say we’re kicking the tires on any pitching that’s available.” The front office has not hidden the fact they would like to add starting pitchers and relievers to the big league roster and the upper level of the minor league system this off-season.
According to the Sun-Times, the Cubs are “putting their efforts into about 10 guys.”
Based on multiple reports, the Cubs have talked to the Royals and have serious interest in trying to acquire Wade Davis. The Royals closer is set to become a free agent after next season and is owed $10 million for 2017, the last year of his contract. The Royals will want a nice package in return for Davis and are reportedly one of the American League teams interested in Jorge Soler.
RHP Brad Ziegler and LHP Jerry Blevins can be added to the list of relievers the Cubs have discussed according to the Sun-Times. The Cubs tried to acquire Ziegler from the Diamondbacks last summer before he was dealt to the Red Sox.
Ziegler, 37, appeared in a combined 69 games this past season. Ziegler was 4-7 with a 2.25 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 3.10 FIP. With the Red Sox, Ziegler was 2-4 in 33 games with a 1.52 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 2.71 FIP. For the year, Ziegler allowed 21 runs, 17 earned, on 67 hits with 26 walks and 58 strikeouts in 68 innings.
The previous administration actually selected Blevins, 33, in the 17th round of the 2004 draft. Blevins was sent to Oakland with Rob Bowen for catcher Jason Kendall in July 2007. Blevins was 4-2 in 73 games with a 2.79 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 3.05 FIP last season with the Mets.
The Cubs are monitoring the market for Kenley Jansen and staying in contact with his agent according to Comcast SportsNet. The Cubs will not try to outbid another team for Jansen, who will easily surpass the four years and $62 million contract Mark Melancon received from the Giants. The Cubs are one of five teams (Cubs, Yankees, Dodgers, Nationals, Marlins) that are reportedly in on Jansen.
The Cubs have not shown any interest in re-signing Aroldis Chapman, who is looking for a six-year contract.
Other relievers the Cubs have been connected to include Daniel Hudson, A.J. Ramos, Alex Colome and Greg Holland.
The Sun-Times reported to “look for multiple bullpen additions without necessarily a focus on acquiring a nominal closer.”
Hoyer told the beat writers Monday that he is not sure at this point if the Cubs will add “a number of good relievers” or if they will add “a guy who’s a known closer.”
The Cubs would like to acquire young pitchers with minor league options that can be sent out in order to be used as starters. Last season, the Cubs began the season with Travis Wood, Trevor Cahill, Clayton Richard and Adam Warren in the bullpen. All four were used for multiple innings in Spring Training and stretched out early in camp to provide depth in case of injury. By June the Cubs were not able to use any of the four as originally planned and three of them (Richard, Cahill, Warren) had to be sent to the minors to be stretched back out.
- Report from the Sun-Times
- Report from the Tribune
- Report from ESPN Chicago
- Report from Comcast SportsNet