Cubs hope Wade Davis returns — but believe plenty of options available if he doesn't

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 06:22:55 AM. The Cubs could sign a dependable right-handed reliever in a market that has depth in that area, making him the closer instead of investing $60 million to $70 million in one guy. They could then use the savings toward signing a free-agent starter such as the Rays' Alex Cobb.
The have made no secret they're focusing on pitching help this winter, including a couple of new starters and perhaps a new closer. The ' is one of their primary targets for the rotation, while they are looking at a number of options for the closer role. Re-signing remains one of them, but it depends on what kind of deal Davis is seeking and whether the Cubs can get creative on a contract. "We'll certainly engage with him, and he knows that we're not known for giving long, multiyear deals to relievers," President Theo Epstein said Monday on the first day of the general managers meetings. "But it's definitely worth talking." The and are expected to be among Davis' most interested suitors, and he's clearly the best closer on the market. But Epstein doesn't seem too worried he won't be able to replace Davis if the demands are too steep. "Things change quickly," he said. "So you don't want to panic and say, 'We have no closer coming in the next four years who's going to close games for us.' We have a really talented pen right now. "We don't have someone we can fully count on in that role, but I know we will by the time we get ready to head for Arizona." How important is it to have a full-time closer anyway? The Astros' Ken Giles saved 34 games this year for a team that ran away with its division, then failed with the pressure on, posting an 11.74 ERA in seven postseason games and forcing manager A.J. Hinch to go with other late-inning options to win the . The Cubs could sign a...Read more
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