Chicago Cubs: Offseason targets to watch in World Series

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
Chicago Cubs, Blake Treinen
Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

2. Blake Treinen

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the Cubs will need to target some bullpen help this winter, and there will be all kinds of great relievers on display in the World Series. One of the best options slated to be a free agent is Blake Treinen.

You may remember Treinen from his All-Star 2018 season where he posted a 0.71 ERA and saved 38 games for the Athletics. Although he’s a few years removed from that incredible peak, he’s still a great relief option that has incredible stuff.

Treinen relies heavily on his sinker, throwing it over 50 percent of the time to good effect. He’s had a positive Pitch Value with it every year of his career except one.

The sinker, as well as his less-used four-seam fastball, are high-velocity offerings, both sitting in the upper-90s. This past year, those pitches put Treinen in the 92nd percentile for fastball velocity among all MLB pitchers.

Treinen also throws a slider that has above-average vertical movement, leading to a lot of swings and misses. In 2020, batters whiffed 35.8 percent of the time against the slider, and when they did make contact they didn’t fare well, posting a .231 wOBA against the pitch.

Altogether, Treinen had a nice bounceback season in Los Angeles, posting a 3.86 ERA and 3.15 FIP during the shortened campaign.

Going forward, fans can’t expect the otherworldly numbers that Treinen posted in 2018, but after signing a one-year deal with the Dodgers last winter, he’s proven he’s still got what it takes to be an impact reliever for a contending team, and that’s exactly what the Cubs need if the team wants to compete for a World Series in 2021.