Monday, June 3, 2024

Cubs Can Trade for Closer Now That Marlins Are Selling


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It’s the first week of May and the Miami Marlins are already selling, which means the Chicago Cubs have the ability to jump the market and trade for a much-needed closer. On Friday night, the Marlins traded two-time All-Star and two-time batting champion Luis Arráez to the San Diego Padres only a season after they traded for him from the Minnesota Twins.

At 9-25, the Marlins have the second worst record in the National League and the third worst record in MLB. So, maybe it’s not a huge surprise to see them trading away their assets so early in 2024.

All right, so the Marlins are open for business. Jed, get on the phone buddy because your team keeps blowing games late.

On Friday, Adbert Alzolay gave up three runs on four hits in the eighth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers as the Cubs lost the series opener against their division rival. That is now eight blown leads by the bullpen in the eighth inning or later through 33 games. The Cubs are 19-14 and they deserve a lot of credit for having a winning record while having several key players sidelined with injuries, but they could still be even better if they had a decent closer.

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The eight blown saves from the Cubs bullpen are tied for second most in MLB.

I know that Cubs fans keep having wet dreams about trading for Mason Miller from the Oakland A’s, but that scenario is only something that will remain in your fantasies. So, let’s get to a realistic trade target who can fix the Cubs biggest bullpen issue.

Cubs Should Trade for Tanner Scott

This could not set up any better for the Cubs. Tanner Scott was most assuredly going to be on their radar in July, leading up to the trade deadline, but if the Marlins are selling already, then the Cubs have to be aggressive right now.

Scott, 29, is a left-handed reliever who began his MLB career with the Baltimore Orioles and has been with the Marlins since 2022. He’s a free agent after the 2024 season, so you know the Marlins are going to trade him this year, and Scott would be an ideal candidate to become the Cubs closer if he’s acquired.

In 2023, Scott had a 2.31 ERA in 78 innings of work with the Marlins and led all MLB relievers with a 2.8 fWAR. He averaged 12 strikeouts per nine innings, only gave up 3 home runs, recorded 24 holds and had 12 saves.

As for this season, Scott has still put up a good ERA at 2.77 in 14 appearances. However, I won’t lie, some of the early numbers look scary and nothing jumps off the page more than Scott’s 14 walks to only 12 strikeouts in 13 innings. Yet, it does look like a lot of those came early, when Scott walked 9 in his first 5 games.

Among relief pitchers with at least 190 innings since the beginning of the 2021 season, Scott has the fifth lowest home run rate, allowing only 0.65 HR per nine innings. He also ranks second among all MLB relievers since 2021 with a minimum of 190 innings with 11.96 K/9.

The Cubs have either the best farm system in MLB or second depending on who you read. There’s really no excuse for the front office not to make a move to address the bullpen and they’re now being given a golden opportunity to get that help a lot sooner than we’re used to if the Marlins continue to sell off.


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May 4, 2024 2:33 pm

Let’s put Mervis in that package. Please make some deals hoyer!! This is getting messy in the bullpen.

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