It’s not a secret that the Chicago Cubs are currently looking to fix their bullpen going into next season. The Cubbies already signed Wesley Wright and former closer Jose Veras, in addition to lefty Jonathan Sanchez to a minor-league deal in order to improve what was one of the worst bullpens in MLB last season.
Even though Veras could end up being the one taking the ball in the ninth inning, there an All-Star closer that could be available after what has happened in recent days.
Former Oakland Athletics closer Grant Balfour is apparently back on the free agent market after his reported two-year, $15 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles fell apart because the O’s medical staff had serious concerns with the results of an MRI.
Even Balfour is likely to have several suitors based on his performances in the last three years with Oakland, he might be available to sign for less money as several teams could use the physical as an excuse to lower down his cost. If that’s the case, the Cubs should make a serious run at him.
Balfour has a lot of experience as a closer, pitching at an All-Star level for the Athletics these past two years and saving 62 games in 67 chances. The chances of him signing with a rebuilding club is quite unlikely after spending recent seasons with a team that competed in the playoffs, but stranger things have happened in free agency.
With the Cubs reportedly looking to bolster their bullpen, Balfour could be a great addition. It remains to be seen if the front office makes a move, but it wouldn’t be a bad signing by any means.