Chicago Cubs: Grading the offseason moves

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Jul 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies pitcher Rex Brothers (49) after being taken out of the game during the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves at Coors Field. The Rockies won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Bullpen Additions

The Cubs used this offseason to solidify an already impressive bullpen.

On Nov. 6, they acquired former Boston Red Sox reliever Ryan Cook off waivers. The 28-year-old right-handed pitcher owns a career ERA of 3.43 and has pitched 207 innings across five MLB seasons.

On Nov. 19, the Chicago Cubs claimed former New York Mets reliever Jack Leathersich off waivers. He posted a 2.31 ERA in 17 games in 2015.

On Nov. 20, the Chicago Cubs traded infielder Frandy Delarosa for Texas Rangers relief pitcher Spencer Patton. Patton struggled last season, posting a 9.00 ERA.

The most newsworthy relief-pitcher acquisition for the Chicago Cubs came on Dec. 3. They acquired veteran left-handed pitcher Rex Brothers. The former Colorado Rockies standout posted a 1.74 ERA in 2015. He recorded 19 saves in 2013.

As previously noted, the Cubs acquired long-reliever Adam Warren in a trade with the New York Yankees for infielder Starlin Castro.

On Dec. 14, the Chicago Cubs re-signed Trevor Cahill to a one-year, $4,250,000 contract.

Grade A:

The Chicago Cubs have compiled a formidable bullpen unit. According to, they ranked eighth in the MLB in terms of bullpen ERA (3.38) in 2015. If they can stay healthy, this group could rank even higher in 2016.

Former starters Travis Wood and Warren will likely split long-reliever duties in 2016. Another converted starter Clayton Richard has the ability to throw multiple quality innings in the middle of games.

Neil Ramirez missed most of the 2015 season with injuries. When healthy, the 26-year-old right-handed pitcher has posted a career 1.87 ERA in 69 games. When the Cubs need a big out, they bring in tough righty Justin Grimm. He may have the most lethal assortment of pitches on the staff and posted a 1.99 ERA in 2015

Trevor Cahill enjoyed a rebirth in 2015 by simplifying his arsenal of pitches. He pitched well in the playoffs too.

The Cubs setup man is Pedro Strop and their closer is Hector Rondon. Both players are hard throwers with elite sliders; however, they run into issues because they have trouble with control. Nonetheless, for the most part, they have been solid.

Rex Brothers and the aforementioned Adam Warren project as the most likely of the new additions to integrate themselves into essential bullpen roles in 2016. From top to bottom, the Chicago Cubs have one of the best bullpens in the MLB. The additions of Brothers, Warren and maybe a few of the others will serve to bolster its effectiveness.

Next: Overall Grade