The Chicago Cubs have made a move.
It was evident this offseason that the Cubs, like most teams, could use some more arms in the bullpen. Theo Epstein and the front office have been remotely quiet this offseason, unlike their central division counterparts. They added utility man Daniel Descalso, who like former Cub Tommy La Stella, can play all over the infield and is another veteran voice in the club house.
On Thursday, the Cubs signed right handed reliever Brad Brach to a one-year deal with an option for both sides in 2020. The 33 year-old appeared in 69 games last season between the Baltimore Orioles and the Atlanta Braves. His numbers were not promising with the Orioles but bounced back nicely with the Braves, giving up runs in six of 27 appearances.
With Brandon Morrow unlikely to be ready for the start of the season, Brach brings plenty of closer experience. He set a career high with 18 saves in 2017 and closed games from the Orioles last season with Zach Britton on the DL. And once Morrow returns, Brach will join Pedro Strop and Steve Cishek as set-up men.
On paper, the Cubs bullpen looks pretty solid. Morrow, Brach, Strop, Cishek, Mike Montgomery, Card Edwards, Brandon Kintzler, Brian Duensing and Tyler Chatwood. The Cubs will not carry nine in the bullpen so when Morrow gets back, we will see what happens. Monty and Duensing are the only left handers and I would think want to add one more, whether is acquiring someone or inserting one of their own like Randy Rosario.
Pitchers and catchers report to Mesa, Arizona on February 12th. Position players will report on Feb. 17 and the first full team workout will follow on the 18.