Cubs Move Jorge Soler for Elite Closer Wade Davis

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Cubs Move Jorge Soler for Elite Closer Wade Davis

Photo courtesy of AP

Photo courtesy of AP

Photo courtesy of AP

Photo courtesy of AP

Joe Thomas

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Cubs fans can breathe now. The club has officially added a quality closer to their roster. He’s no Aroldis Chapman, but he may be one of the most underrated closers in all of baseball. His name is Wade Davis from the 2015 World Series champion Kansas City Royals. Instead of waiting to see what moves the Dodgers, Yankees, and Marlins were going to make, the Cubs decided not to take any risks and trade for Davis. The only downside of this deal is that it’s a trade, which means one of the Cubs players will be shipped to KC. In this case it is slugger Jorge Soler. Even though the Cubs had to give up a quality outfielder and hitter, they were in desperate need of a closer. Otherwise, it would have been reliever Hector Rondon or Pedro Strop who would be working the 9th inning. Moving into the 2017 season the big question analysts and fans now have is will the Cubs bullpen be just as dominant as it was last year?

With closers like Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman, who used to be on the market, the question of why they didn’t wait for the highest quality closers looms over Cubs fans. Aroldis Chapman, of course, was the Cubs’ closer for half of the 2016 season and rarely blew a save partially in thanks to his insane triple fastball. Once he denied the Cubs qualifying offer and became a free agent, he wanted to sign with a team that was willing to pay more than $80 million for a multi-year deal. Last night of course the Yankees–who have no trouble paying 80 million–signed him to a five year deal.  

Another option that the Cubs had and balked at was Kenley Jansen. Jansen has been on the Dodgers’ pitching staff for the past seven years and has worked his way up to be one of the most dominant closers in the majors. Similar to Chapman, Jansen wanted a multi year deal worth a fat stack of cash, which again the Cubs’ front office just wasn’t interested in. Right now the Miami Marlins are believed to be willing to offer Jansen a five year contract worth 80 million dollars.

On to the newest member of the Chicago Cubs, Wade Davis. The new Cubs closer is coming from the Kansas City Royals who he helped win the AL Pennant in 2014 and then the World Series in 2015. Over the past three years with the Royals, Davis produced a very low ERA of 1.18 in 182 innings. Not to mention, he has also been lights out in the postseason. In the 25 postseason innings that he has pitched he’s only allowed one earned run. On top of that, his strikeout to walk ratio while playing October baseball is 38 to 5. Wade Davis’s statistics only provide confidence to Joe Maddon who will try this year to get an eager Cubs team to the postseason for the third consecutive year. Some of the very few downsides Wade Davis features is that he landed on the DL twice in the past season due to forearm and flexor strains. The two injuries were a direct cause to why his average fastball speed went down .8 mph (95.7mph-94.9mph) last year and possibly why he had one of his lowest strikeout rates ever in his major league career. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported that throughout the trade process the Cubs looked closely at Davis’s medical records, but didn’t see anything to significant that would prevent them from conducting the trade. Wade Davis will be making $10 million this year and will become a free agent next winter.