As the Cubs continue selling, relief pitcher James Russell's name has been brought up in trade rumors. The Cubs reportedly don't want to part with the left-hander, but if blown away by an offer, they could give him up.
According to a report from Bruce Levine of ESPN, at least five teams, including the Pirates, Rangers and Braves are interested in the 27-year old Russell.
The Braves' interest in James Russell isn't surprising, as they have checked in with almost every left-handed pitcher that is and isn't available. The Pirates could use Russell as their seventh or eighth inning guy. He has experience as an eighth inning guy and as a closer, so he is a versatile weapon for any team's bullpen.
After what the Brewers got for Francisco Rodriguez, the Cubs could get a nice return for Russell if they do decide to trade him. On the year, 1-2 with a 2.68 ERA and a 29/12 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Left-handed hitters are hitting .179 against Russell this year, while right-handed hitters are hitting .328 against him this year. The stats show that Russell is a left-handed specialist, but many pitchers have found a job being a specialist. If acquired, Russell could be a key member to whatever bullpen he joins.
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