The Chicago Cubs don’t have a lot of weaknesses, but their bullpen could use some upgrading. The New York Yankees aren’t going through a very good season, but at least their relief pitchers are holding their end of the bargain.
Which is why the Cubs are very interested in what the Yankees have on “sale” from their reliever corps. Obviously, most of the attention goes to the trio of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman, probably the best closing threesome in major league Baseball. Champman has a 1.93 ERA in 15 appearances, striking out 13.5 batters per nine innings and averaging 7 k’s per walk. Miller has a 1.01 ERA in 26.2 innings, striking out 16.2 batters per nine innings and averaging 16 strikeouts per one walk. Betances, who is 28, like Chapman, has a 3.23 ERA in 30.2 innings, striking out 17.3 per nine innings, averaging 7.38 k’s per walks
They’ve struck out a combined 128 batters while walking only 14, giving up only 17 runs in more than 71 combined innings. They might be the best thing going for the Yankees who are back in the picture of winning the division or at least looking at the Wild Card spot. The Cubs might really want one of the three (or maybe more) considering they’re all on good contracts, but if the Yankees fix their hitting, they might be less than inclined to give up three of their best players, and break up the best closing trio in baseball. Chapman is on the last year of his deal, Miller makes a reasonable $9 million a season through 2018, and Betances is making the league minimum, just over $500,000.
Who will the Yankees be looking to get? Besides young talent, Javier Baez and Jorge Soler could be players they’ll be looking at. Wilson Contreras is an elite catching prospect, but the Cubs might not be too eager to give him up. Kyle Schwarber might be injured, but the Cubs aren’t that into trading him too. With Soler the only name on the table (but that might change), it could be difficult striking a deal, when the Yankees know that any one of their bullpen trio will immediately become the best reliever on the Cubs. This season, that is turning out to be a historic one so far for the Cubs, might make it difficult for the Cubs to pass up an opportunity for an upgrade, even if it slightly hurts their future.