Despite Chicago’s sizable lead in the National League Central, the Cubs have interest in adding a reliever ahead of the non-waiver trade deadline, according to MLB.com’s Cody Stavenhagen.
Theo Epstein said #Cubs "would love" to add an impact reliever, but that won't be reactionary to recent 'pen struggles.— Cody Stavenhagen (@CodyStavenhagen) June 17, 2016
While the Cubs’ bullpen has been inconsistent over the last few days, the unit has collectively pitched to a 3.42 ERA, which ranks eighth in baseball and fourth in the National League.
Led by closer Hector Rondon, Chicago’s bullpen has helped the club be the first team to reach 45 wins this season. Pedro Strop has been effective in a setup role, pitching to a 2.92 ERA, but the unit could become well-balanced if another arm is added.
Adam Warren, Travis Wood and Trevor Cahill have all pitched well through the first two and a half months of the season, but the Cubs appear to be interested in adding another relief option.
The Cubs were in New York to scout Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances, George A. King III of the New York Post reported earlier this week.
Chapman could be an ideal option for the Cubs, since he will become a free agent at the end of the season. Miller is under contract through 2018, which might make New York hesitant to move him.
Drew Storen has been mentioned in trade rumors, but there aren’t many other relievers known to be available at this point. The Cubs appear to be set in almost every other area, though, which should enable them to prioritize adding bullpen help in the coming weeks.
Since the Cubs have such a large lead, there is likely no rush to add relief help. But in the coming weeks, they could position themselves to make a notable deal.