Before today’s Cubs, Cardinals series finale, Cubs LHR Drew Smyly threw a simulated game at Wrigley. Smyly, recovering from Tommy John surgery, is expected to join the bullpen in Auguest. Jesse Rogers from ESPN.com thinks Smyly will start his rehab assignment in two weeks.
“He may be able to help us late in the season out of the bullpen. This is a move that’s focused on 2019. He’s a really good, high-quality starting pitcher, and we’re excited to get him on this deal and rehab him and hopefully get him back to where he was.”- Cubs GM Jed Hoyer on signing Smyly.
Smyly is coming back at just the right time. The Cubs could use another lefty in the pen to go along with Brian Duensing and Justin Wilson. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer will likely add another lefty to the group before the deadline. Zach Britton is reportedly on the top of the Cubs list but have backup options if they don’t land the Orioles reliever.
The Orioles want to move Britton this weekend or early next week according to ESPN’s Buster Olney. There are a lot of teams in on Britton but the Cubs and Astros have surged to the top of the list.
So what would it take for the Cubs to land the top lefty on the market? David Bote is a great place to start. The 25 year-old is hitting .310 in 53 plate appearances this season for the Cubs. He has made some great plays in the field and has showed discipline at the plate, drawing eight walks. Bote’s upside and versatility to play multiple positions should help land Britton.
Other names to consider is Cubs top pitching prospect Adbert Alzolay and RHP Alex Lange. It may take a three for one swap but it’s worth it. Britton has not given up an earned run in 8 straight appearances and would give the Cubs an elite bullpen in October.