From a couple of national writers, we have rumors!
I would give a big thumbs-down to any potential acquisition of A.J. Ramos. Remember this game [VIDEO]?
Ramos threw 35 pitches in that ninth inning, just 13 for strikes. His walk rate last year was 4.9 per nine innings, and it’s the same this year. That walk rate is higher than anyone currently in the Cubs bullpen, save Carl Edwards Jr., who also needs to work on his command and control. If you’re tired of watching Cubs relievers walk opposing hitters, you would not like A.J. Ramos.
Pat Neshek made the All-Star team this year, and not just because the Phillies needed a representative. He’s been really good as a middle relief/setup guy: 1.12 ERA, 0.818 WHIP, the polar opposite of Ramos: 1.1 walks per nine innings, just five walks this year in 40⅓ innings. And though his career walk rate is higher, it’s significantly better than Ramos’ at 2.7 per nine. Neshek also doesn’t allow home runs, just two this year.
Neshek also has a reputation as being a good clubhouse guy, something I know Theo & Co. value. Here’s an article about him and his family and how they dealt with the death of an infant son five years ago.
If the Cubs could trade for Neshek without giving up too much in terms of prospects, I’d make that deal. This bullpen needs help, and soon.