Chicago Cubs Reportedly Interested in Lefty Relievers Andrew Chafin and Matt Moore, Though the Price Tags Are the Question

When he mentioned that the Cubs had been nonetheless engaged on some issues as of Saturday morning, Jed Hoyer prompt that it COULD be about including one other bat and about including in the bullpen.

Well, not 12 hours later, phrase broke that the Cubs had been signing bat-user Trey Mancini, and now it is honest to wonder if a bullpen transfer is coming quickly.

To that finish, Sahadev Sharma studies that the Cubs have an interest in two of the finest lefty relievers remaining on the market: Matt Moore and Andrew Chafin.

Moore, 33, exploded final 12 months with the Rangers after a full-time transfer to the bullpen (fastball popped, far more curveball utilization), and he seems like a mighty enticing goal. Chafin, 32, is well-known to Cubs followers, and he was once more superb in 2022, pitching for the Tigers.

I’m very pleased to listen to that the Cubs have an interest in these two guys, who is likely to be the finest two relievers left on the free agent market. Each can be an enormous enhance to a bullpen that already has the potential to be deep and sturdy.

The drawback is that the value tags on these guys determine to be fairly excessive, at the least so far as setup relievers go. Sharma mentions lefty Matt Strahm, who signed with the Phillies for 2 years and $15 million, as a reference level. That is a value degree the Cubs is probably not ready or prepared to go to for Moore or Chafin (every of whom I’d MUUUUUCH reasonably have than Strahm).

Moreover, this is a pair different issues Sharma has written about his final two items:

  • (From after the Mancini deal was reported) “(The Cubs would) love so as to add a reliable lefty to pair with teen Brandon Hughes, however the value could find yourself forcing them to a decrease finish of the market. There is a few flexibility left financially, however the emphasis ought to firmly be positioned on ‘some.'”

After the Mancini addition, the Cubs are simply previous the $221 million mark for luxurious tax functions, leaving them round $12 million under the first luxurious tax tier. This weekend, proprietor Tom Ricketts indicated that the Cubs should not completely against going again over the luxurious tax – they’ve earlier than – however he did speak so much about being “strategic” in relation to the tax, due to the potential penalties for amateurs expertise acquisition (ie, the potential draft and IFA implications), and as a result of the tax charges go up yearly you are over the tax.

So, I’m going to invest that the Cubs actually do not need to go over the tax this 12 months. Given that the Cubs can even need some room to work with beneath the tax for midseason trades and collected bonuses, it looks as if including one among Moore or Chafin might be a stretch. I could make the math work, though most likely not in the event that they get much more than Strahm bought, and not with out the Cubs someway in any other case transferring out wage.

As you already know, and Sharma factors out, the Cubs have been superb at discovering guys like Moore and Chafin *earlier than* they’ve large seasons and command large free agent {dollars}. It could also be the case that they merely desire to maintain going that route (and might be simply as profitable as in the event that they signed one among these two).

Then once more, these guys are nonetheless unsigned right here in mid-January, and quite a lot of different groups have their budgets all full up. Any probability the Cubs do need/intend to land one among these guys, however they’re attempting to carry down the value as a lot as potential, understanding that the markets could also be drying up? Trying to signal one among them and nonetheless have $5+ million left beneath the luxurious tax? In different phrases, is it that the Cubs cannot land one among these guys, or are they simply performing some protracted negotiating?

We may even see quickly sufficient.

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