While the Chicago Cubs have been linked to big-name free agents, an under the radar signing should be a priority.
Last season the Chicago Cubs certainly had their trouble pushing runs across the plate. Their offensive futility was their death-knell down the stretch, as their inability to hit cost them a chance at another World Series title.
Therefore, it would make sense that the two free agents fan
However, there was another area in which the Cubs struggled, and that was the bullpen. More to the point, the bullpen had trouble staying healthy. Forget a “closer by committee.” Rather, what the Cubs employed was more of a “closer by whoever the heck is healthy today.”
One reliever who, to my knowledge, has never injured himself putting on his trousers is New York Yankees (and former Chicago White Sox) pitcher David Robertson. Robertson is someone that would solve the world of troubles that ail the Cubs bullpen.
The right-hander is a workhorse, having logged 69.2 innings last season (a career high). So from that standpoint, he could eat up innings as the Cubs seventh and eighth-inning setup man. This is a role in which he excelled for the Yankees. Last year he had a minuscule 1.03 WHIP, a 3.5 K/BB ratio, and 90 total strikeouts.
In addition, he is clutch in high leverage situations. He was counted on in very stressful situations, often being called upon with runners on base and the game on the line. In 2018 he stranded 17 of 27 inherited runners, which is very solid for someone pitching in the crucial latter innings.
Finally, Robertson also has experience as a closer. He replaced the legendary Mariano Rivera and closed for the Yankees in 2014. He also served as the White Sox closer for the three years he was in Chicago (2015-2017).
Interestingly, Robertson has fired his agent who earned him some pretty lucrative contracts for a reliever, so it’s unclear what his expectations may be for his next contract. However, it’s not unreasonable to expect to be in the 3 years and $30 million range.
If the Cubs can get him for anything near that, they should make him a priority. Incredibly effective and versatile relievers don’t usually come that cheap. And the fact that he would fill so many bullpen holes for the Cubbies, makes him even more valuable.