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Chicago Cubs add much-needed bullpen stability in Brad Brach

The Chicago Cubs addressed a evident need on Thursday, signing ideal-handed reliever Brad Brach to a a single-calendar year offer with a mutual option for 2020.

Properly, it’s no Craig Kimbrel. But the Chicago Cubs enhanced their bullpen depth at very long past, signing former Baltimore Orioles and Atlanta Braves reliever Brad Brach to a a single-calendar year, $4.35 million offer with a mutual option on a 2nd calendar year.

Previous season, Brach split time between the Orioles and Braves, pitching to a 3.59 Period and 1.596 WHIP in 62 2/3 innings of operate. The ideal-hander, who turns 33 in April, substantially enhanced his numbers in Atlanta, exactly where he compiled a 1.52 Period, 1.310 WHIP and 269 Period+ across 23 2/3 frames.

He’ll possible slot in as that vital middle-inning dude, bridging the gap from the starting off rotation to the late-inning guys like Carl Edwards, Brandon Morrow and Pedro Strop. Just after the Cubs had been chastised early in the offseason for passing on Jesse Chavez (two-decades, $8 million) – Theo Epstein nailed this transfer, offering Chicago a significantly-necessary responsible existence in the pen.

From 2013-2017, Brach racked up 319 2/3 innings out of the Baltimore bullpen, pitching to a 2.79 Period, 3.51 FIP and 1.195 WHIP. This dude has been the epitome of regularity in the latest decades – which, at minimum in my brain, is exactly what the pen necessary heading into 2019.

I’d individually nonetheless like to see the Cubs increase one more remaining-handed option ahead of they crack camp in Mesa. Appropriate now, you’re heading into the season with a ton of righties (Morrow, Strop, Edwards, Brach, Brandon Kintzler, Tyler Chatwood and Steve Cishek). That doesn’t even just take into account the myriad of younger arms that look possible to open the calendar year with Triple-A Iowa.

As far as remaining-handers go, issues look far less steady. As very long as Yu Darvish stays healthful, Mike Montgomery heads back to the bullpen, which should just take some force of individuals late-inning guys – and supply a very long-guy – something the 2018 ballclub sorely lacked.

So you’ve bought Montgomery paired up with the likes of Brian Duensing, who picked up ideal exactly where he remaining off next a breakout 2017 campaign (68 appearances, 2.74 Period, 3.38 K/BB ratio and 8.8 K/9) to open the season – then fell to pieces and was essentially unusable the relaxation of the calendar year. And do not overlook Randy Rosario, who was a enjoyable surprise past season, but whose peripherals are not fairly as inviting as his in general numbers could possibly recommend.

Subsequent: What a healthful, powerful Darvish could suggest to the Cubs

All informed, this is a stable choose-up. It is a single of individuals moves that will not garner many headlines outside of Chicago, but down the stretch, could confirm to be the most essential a single Epstein makes this winter.

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