The Chicago Cubs had several issues among their roster last season, but the bullpen was the area that caused the most concern.
The overuse of guys like James Russell, the constant struggles of Shawn Camp and Carlos Marmol early in the campaign and the last-season issues with Kevin Gregg all contributed to a bullpen staff that had the sixth worst ERA (4.04) in all of baseball.
It’s clear the Cubs need to add some arms to improve their relief pitching, and one exciting option could be the former St. Louis Cardinals hurler Edward Mujica.
Per reports, the Cubs are one of four teams – together with the Philadelphia Phillies, Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians – targeting the late-inning reliever. And even though he struggled mightily with the Cards last season he would be a major addition to the roster.
Mujica had 37 saves and a 2.78 ERA last year, numbers that would make him the best reliever on the team and an instant candidate to assume the closer role. His calling card is outstanding control and command (0.70 BB per 9 IP), and he would bring a lot of experience to a team features plenty of power arms but not many command-wise arms in relief.
The Cubs had troubles solidifying the bullpen last year, but the emergence of guys like Blake Parker, Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon appeared to be a step in the right direction. The addition of Mujica won’t be a marquee signing by any means, but he would definitely add some veteran stability and experience to a bullpen that needs to be much better if the Cubs are looking to improve from last season.