Chicago Cubs: 5 potential trades for a bullpen arm

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Joe Jimenez, 24, has been a solid reliever for the Tigers since coming up in 2017.

The Chicago Cubs could get better in the bullpen with one phone call to the Detroit Tigers. Joe Jimenez has been with the Tigers organization since he signed with them in 2013 as an undrafted free agent out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy.

He appeared in 24 games during his rookie season in 2017 and accumulated 17 strikeouts and nine walks in 19.0 innings pitched. Jimenez slightly improved those ratios in 2018 when he appeared in 68 games and struck out 78 batters in 62.2 innings pitched. He walked 22 batters in those 68 games but was named an All-Star for his efforts.

This season, Jimenez has struck out 15 batters in only 10.1 innings, but has also walked six batters. His fastball tops out in the mid-90s and throws his primary pitch over 70 percent of the time (via Fangraphs). Per MLB, he is only allowing batters to get the barrel of the bat on the ball just 4.2 percent this season. With a much larger sample size in 2018, it was 6.7 percent.

That being said, Jimenez is susceptible to being hit hard close to 40 percent of balls hit into play, but he strikes out 30 percent of the batters he faces. So you have to pick your poison with Jimenez. It should be worth mentioning that Jimenez is under team control through 2023 as well, so any trade with the Tigers could net you a potential long-term answer in the bullpen.

The Tigers have a lot of pitching prospects and could use a catching prospect in the pipeline, preferably one with some hitting upside. Jake Rogers is listed as the team’s eighth best prospect but scouts are not too high on his bat.

"Scout’s take: “If he hits, he’s an All-Star. … Offensively, got some power, not gonna hit for a big average but he can really catch and throw. … More of a backup guy for me, I really question his bat. I know he’s got some above-average defense but I think it’s a below-average future bat that lacks power.”"

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Therefore, I think a fair trade for Joe Jimenez would be for Miguel Amaya straight up. The Tigers are in a rebuilding mode and Amaya is projected to be ready by 2021. He is currently in High-A Myrtle Beach and has four home-runs on the young season.