Cubs

Cubs will have a new closer in 2018 as Wade Davis reportedly agrees to big deal with Rockies

Cubs will have a new closer in 2018 as Wade Davis reportedly agrees to big deal with Rockies

The Cubs' bullpen puzzle got a little trickier Friday, as it appears Wade Davis won't be returning as the North Siders' closer.

According to a report from Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, Davis has agreed to a huge three-year deal with the Colorado Rockies, one Passan reports is worth $52 million.

Cha ching.

That's one of the biggest contracts ever for a relief pitcher — one that can get even bigger, per Passan, as big as $66 million should a fourth-year option kick in — but for the Cubs, it means they'll have to come up with someone else to close out games.

Of course, this has been a possibility for some time, with Davis one of the hottest commodities on the market in terms of relief arms. But there's no doubt Davis was excellent last year in his lone season on the North Side. He converted 32 of his 33 save opportunities and turned in a 2.30 ERA in 59 appearances.

After helping the Kansas City Royals to back-to-back appearances in the World Series (including a championship in 2015), he once again pitched in the postseason, saving four games for the Cubs in series against the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers. While he surrendered three earned runs in 6.1 innings during the playoffs, he picked up the save with an epic performance in Game 5 of the National League Division Series, pitching 2.1 innings to eliminate the Nationals.

As for 2018, though, the Cubs will need a new ninth-inning man. That could be Brandon Morrow, who the team added earlier this month on a free-agent deal. Morrow has saved just 18 games in his 11-season career, but he was a very effective late-inning arm for the aforementioned Dodgers last season, posting a 2.06 ERA in 43.2 innings of work. The Cubs also inked Steve Cishek this month, who has closed for the Miami Marlins and Seattle Mariners, picking up 121 career saves. He saved a combined 73 games for the Marlins in 2013 and 2014. Internal options include Carl Edwards Jr. and Pedro Strop.

And of course the Cubs could add another free-agent arm to the bullpen, too. One big-name closer remains on the free-agent market: Greg Holland, a former teammate of Davis' in Kansas City. Holland was the NL saves leader in 2017, with 41 for the Rockies, who seemed to have replaced him with Davis. Also still available is Addison Reed, who saved 19 games for the New York Mets last season.

Ozzie Guillen says Kris Bryant is his favorite player to watch

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USA TODAY

Ozzie Guillen says Kris Bryant is his favorite player to watch

Ozzie Guillen is a big Kris Bryant fan.

In fact, the former White Sox manager even went as far as saying the Cubs third baseman is his favorite player to watch right now.

"I love this guy, since the first day he was coming in," Guillen said Tuesday on Baseball Night in Chicago. "No matter how you look at it, besides a great player, he's a pro and that's more important.

"The way he goes about his business, the way he goes about his at-bats, everything is professional. He's just so good."

Even with Guillen being a White Sox guy at heart, you can't help but appreciate Bryant as a player and what he's accomplished already at the age of 26.

Bryant has won a World Series ring, an MVP award, and was Rookie of the Year. In four seasons, he has a .289/.391/.529 slash line with 96 homers and 282 RBIs.

Pretty solid accolades for a guy who still has his whole career ahead of him. So just how great could Bryant be?

"This kid has a chance to be one of the best players ever to wear that uniform if they let him," Guillen said.

A reminder that you can watch Baseball Night in Chicago every weeknight from Monday through Friday at 6:30 p.m. The new half-hour show will serve as the lead-in program for every 7:00 p.m. weeknight Cubs or White Sox game on NBC Sports Chicago this season. 

Cubs Talk Podcast: Does Javy Baez have an MVP in his future?

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Does Javy Baez have an MVP in his future?

David Kaplan, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki sit down and discuss Cubs star Javy Baez and his transformation from Puerto Rican HS star to MLB star and the trials and tribulations he has faced and still faces as one of baseball's flashiest players.

Take a listen here or in the embedded player below.