Chicago Cubs add another bullpen arm in Travis Lakins

(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

On Tuesday, the Chicago Cubs acquired 25-year-old Travis Lakins from the Red Sox in exchange for a PTBNL or cash considerations.

The Chicago Cubs continue to find pieces of their roster in unusual places, acquiring Travis Lakins from the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday in exchange for a player-to-be-named-later or cash considerations. The 25-year-old is a former sixth-round pick of the 2015 MLB Draft out of Ohio State and made his Major League debut last year with the Red Sox. In all, Lakins made 16 appearances, including three starts, while posting a 3.86 ERA and struck out 18 batters in 23.1 innings.

He split the 2019 season between Triple-A Pawtucket and the big-league club, making his debut on April 23 and was optioned back to Triple-A three days later. That was pretty much the book on Lakins last year, providing support for the bullpen, and as noted, making three starts. Over a much larger sample size, he posted a 3.82 ERA in 50 appearances between two seasons for Boston’s Triple-A outfit while striking out 243 batters in 260.2 innings.

Lakins has the propensity to walk a few batters, as his WHIP has consistently been around 1.400 at every level. The Cubs have had an interesting strategy “rebuilding” their bullpen this offseason. Ownership has been hell-bent on remaining under the league’s competitive balance tax for the 2020 season, so acquisitions have, in large part, been minor-league deals.

The Franklin, Ohio native rounds out the Cubs’ 40-man roster, so that could very well complete the offseason for Theo Epstein, and he will have the opportunity to make the 26-man roster out of Spring Training. Aside from competition at second base, both the fifth-starter spot and bullpen will be interesting to observe how it all comes together.

Lakins will be up against recent additions in Jharel Cotton, CD Pelham, Trevor Megill, Dan Winkler, Casey Sadler, and Ryan Tepera in what appears to be just two or three openings in the bullpen.

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As noted, the Cubs’ strategy this offseason has been hampered by their financial situation. They have reportedly offered Pedro Strop a contract to return to the club in 2020 but lost vital members in both Steve Cishek and Brandon Kintzler. This offseason could make the Cubs’ front office look like geniuses, or it could very well blow up in their faces.