When the Chicago Cubs signed reliever Jose Veras they hoped he would serve a couple purposes. The first purpose was holding down the closer role while the team developed either Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon or Arodys Vizcaino for the role in the future. The second purpose was being trade bait at the deadline to net the Cubs a package of prospects if he performed well. Unfortunately as he’s underachieved mightily this season.
Due to that under-performance, the Cubs have decided to release the veteran reliever. He recorded 21 saves last season, but has an ERA over 8.00 this season which forced the North Siders into releasing him. He didn’t serve either purpose the Cubs had originally hoped he would and just reached the end of the road. The most disappointing shortcoming of this season was that the Cubs won’t get any prospects in return for him now.
The Cubs already have enticing trade bait in pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel along with outfielders Nate Schierholtz and Emilio Bonifacio, and if they could’ve added Veras to that mix they really could’ve added more depth to their already solid farm system. What the Cubs need to start adding to their farm system now is quality and power arms. In terms of depth, Chicago has the best offensive farm system in baseball with five players projected as major league starters and two as perennial All-Stars.
By adding arms to a farm system that has prospects such as C.J. Edwards, Pierce Johnson, Arodys Vizcaino, Kyle Hendricks and Jake Stinnett, the Cubs can truly enter the next phase of their rebuild: contending. Since Veras underperformed this season and forced the Cubs into releasing the reliever they once had high hopes for, the task of adding young quality arms will be tougher. Still, the team’s recent performance suggests they may be closer to contending than previously expected. Now they just need their elite prospects to show what they can do at Wrigley Field.