Injuries to Brandon Morrow and Pedro Strop have highlighted the weaknesses in the Cubs’ bullpen, making a new back-end option more necessity than luxury. And with a tight budget, the trade market is the most likely avenue to acquire such help. As we learned Saturday, one possible option to bolster the relief corps lies north of the border.
On Inside the Clubhouse @670TheScore Jays broadcaster Buck Maritinez confirmed the Cubs have asked about the availability of closer Ken Giles
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) May 18, 2019
The Jays acquired Giles from the Astros in return for disgraced closer Roberto Osuna, who had served a suspension for a violation of the MLB domestic violence policy following an arrest on assault charges. Giles had been expendable due an inconsistent 2018 season and a run-in with manager A.J. Hinch, but the change of scenery has done him well.
He has quietly put up very good numbers for Toronto and did not blow a single save chance from the time he joined the team prior to the 2018 trade deadline until an April 11 matchup against the Red Sox. As of May 18, Giles is 1-1 with a 1.47 ERA and has eight saves in nine opportunities.
Another fan-favorite trade target is Nationals closer Sean Doolittle, who has had a very good start to the 2019 season and has not succumbed to his past injury issues. But Giles has had an even better year across the board, which explains the Cubs’ interest.
Nothing appears imminent at this point, but with Morrow still a long way from returning and few reliable high-leverage options on hand, the Cubs are likely to make some moves.