The Chicago Cubs signed 32-year-old reliever Jeremy Jeffress to a one-year deal this offseason to help a bullpen that had major issues in 2019.
Jeffress had a rough year himself with the Milwaukee Brewers, finishing with a 5.02 ERA in 52 innings. And in classic Cubs fashion, he will be heavily relied upon in Chicago whenever the season gets underway. Another case of patchwork bullpen solutions.
The Cubs saw Jeffress' 2018 season and are hoping that's the player they're getting. That year saw the veteran log 76.2 innings and finish with a dominant 1.29 ERA. He also had 89 strikeouts and made his first ever All-Star Game.
While Jeffress does have a solid career ERA at 3.16, his 1.35 WHIP is not exactly what you want in a relief pitcher.
The Cubs are also a bit desperate with Craig Kimbrel as the anchor of the bullpen. Steve Cishek, Brandon Kintzler and Pedro Strop have all signed elsewhere, leaving big holes. Relying on Jeffress may be out of necessity and it's possible the Cubs are just trying to talk themselves into him being the answer given his stellar 2018.
Whatever the case, Cubs fans have seen this story before.