The Chicago Cubs will becoming into the 2019 season with many concerns such as Yu Darvish health, Joe Maddon Status, Bryant’s health, but I believe their biggest concern is the closer position. Yu Darvish has spoke about feeling great during Spring Training and I do believe he will have a great year. Joe Maddon wasn’t offered a contract extension, so we know that he is essentially a free agent after this year. Kris Bryant has shown during Spring Training that he also like Yu Darvish feels great, and this year will be a big year for Kris. So I believe the biggest concern is that the Cubs won’t have a definite closer starting the season.
Chicago Cubs closer from last year was Brandon Marrow, but Brandon had surgery after the season that will sideline him at least the first month of the season. Also Joe Maddon has noted that after Brandon comes back that he won’t pitch three consecutive days like he did last year. This opens the conversation about what can the Cubs do to make this concern go away?
Well Craig Kimbrel is still a free agent and has shown in the past that he can be a great closer. Craig has been reported seeking a six-year deal worth over $100 million, and that isn’t a wise choice for the Cubs. The Cubs should avoid staying away from him because he has pitched in over 60 games in a season seven times in his career. That shows that Kimbrel is most likely on the downfall of his career.
So if the Cubs aren’t going to sign Craig Kimbrel then what can they do? Well the Cubs can rely on other relievers such as Brandon Kintzler or Pedro Strop. These guys could step up and show that the Cubs won’t have to go out and sign a free agent, and also pitch on the off days of Brandon Marrows. This would be a great easy fix, but I am not getting my hopes up.
Finally the Cubs have shown to go the trade wire if they believe they have a great chance of making it to the World Series. Remember in 2016 the Cubs traded young prospects to acquire Aroldis Chapman to the mix. The Cubs don’t have the prospects like they did in 2016, but I believe this is what the Cubs will do if the closer position is still a concern during the season.