Yesterday I had a look at some lefty relievers that Jed Hoyer & Co. might look at for the Cubs this year. (Yes, this year! Opening Day 2023 is just 85 days away.)
So, I figured today I’d post a companion piece on righthanded relief pitchers. The Cubs have already signed one of those, Brad Boxberger, and that was a good signing by Hoyer. But as it says above: You can never have too many good relievers.
Here are some righthanded guys who might help the Cubs in 2023.
Bradley missed half of 2022 with what this article describes as “the most Angels injury ever”, during a brawl with the Mariners:
As is usually the case with the righteous vengeance (and as is always the case with the Angels), it backfired spectacularly when journeyman right hander Archie Bradley fell over the rail while scrambling out of the dugout, fracturing his elbow before he even made it to the scrum.
Since this is a bone injury, not muscular, you’d think Bradley could still pitch once that’s healed, which it should be by now.
Bradley is 30 and has closing experience. A minor league deal might be worth it.
Duffey is a rare player in modern baseball — drafted by the Twins in the fifth round in 2012, he has spent his entire professional career in the Twins organization, including eight MLB seasons in the Minnesota bullpen.
His 2022 season wasn’t all that great — 4.91 ERA, 1.364 WHIP, eight home runs in 44 innings — but his three previous years were quite good.
He turned 32 last week. A minor league deal with a look in camp might not be a bad idea.
Fulmer’s been mentioned in a Cubs rumor or two. After a few middling years as a starter in Detroit and Tommy John surgery, Fulmer has settled in as a decent middle reliever for the Tigers, then Twins after a deadline deal last year. He’s not a big strikeout guy and his walk rate was a bit elevated in 2022, but he keeps the ball in the ballpark — just 11 home runs allowed in 133⅓ innings over the last two seasons.
He made $4.95 million in 2022 and so likely wouldn’t be expensive.
There’s a subset of Cubs fans who would love to see Reyes signed by the Cubs and succeed with them just to stick it to the Cardinals.
Reyes has to be healthy and produce first, though. After several attempts to make him a starter, Reyes settled in as a St. Louis reliever in 2021 and had an outstanding year: 3.24 ERA, 1.355 WHIP, 29 saves. That was after missing all of 2017 and most of 2018 with Tommy John surgery.
Then Reyes had a shoulder injury which also required surgery and he missed the entire 2022 season.
I don’t think I’d give him more than a minor league deal but he is only 28. If he can return from all these injuries he could be quite useful.
Wisler was having a pretty good year for the Rays when he suffered a neck injury in mid-July. He missed six weeks, came back and made one appearance for Tampa Bay in September and then was designated for assignment.
Overall in 2022: 2.25 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, a low walk rate (2.9 per nine innings). He shows as having made five starts in 2022, but all of those were as an “opener.”
Again, health is a potential issue here but Wisler is only 29. A minor-league deal might be worth it.
Which of these righthanded relievers should the Cubs sign?
This poll is closed
None of the above
Someone else (leave in comments)