With the deadline approaching, rumors have surfaced around the Chicago Cubs and Detroit Tigers. The Cubs have been linked to Alex Avila, but a new name has surfaced in the past hour. Justin Wilson is rumored to be the Cubs top priority at the moment. It’s very possible a package deal for both Alex Avila and Justin Wilson can get done, but I’m going to focus primarily on Justin Wilson.
Who is Justin Wilson? Justin Wilson is a left-handed reliever for the Detroit Tigers. Wilson originally came up with Pirates but has spent the last three seasons with the Yankees and Tigers.
Wilson is in the middle of arguably his best year as a major leaguer. In 42 games, Wilson owns a 2.68 ERA, has acquired 1.4 WAR and has a skinny .942 WHIP. For a struggling Detroit team, he has 13 saves on the season. With the Tigers rebuild quickly approaching, it only makes sense to move the crafty left-hander.
A move for Justin Wilson will ultimately mean the Cubs will part ways with Jeimer Candelario and or Mark Zagunis. With the position spots at the major league level backed up as it is, this move seems inevitable.
As much as I’ve enjoyed Candelario and Zagunis progressing through the minor leagues, I would be very happy to see them get a chance to play every day in Detroit.
As for the Cubs, this would add another great option for Joe Maddon to turn to late in games. With a bullpen mix of Carl Edwards Jr., Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon and Wade Davis, look out.
Adding a dominant left-handed reliever to the mix who could be another setup option or close games would only make the Cubs that more lethal. I haven’t even mentioned the depth of Koji Uehara or Justin Grimm. Not to mention Brian Duensing, who has done an excellent job this year. The Cubs are looking to build a bullpen very similar to the Cleveland Indians last year. The Indians bullpen was a big reason why they made it to the Fall Classic last season.
I would be very happy to see Justin Wilson in a Cubs uniform and I think the move makes a lot of sense. Ken Rosenthal reported that Wilson is under team control through next year and could be the next man up for closing if Wade Davis leaves Chicago. As for the Cubs right now, adding Wilson would add another very good reliever to an already loaded bullpen.
One could argue that the only piece missing for the Cubs is a dominant left-handed reliever and Wilson fills that hole immediately.
If the Cubs are winning after five innings, it could just be game over.