Found November 27, 2013 on
It’s no secret that the Chicago Cubs are looking for a new closer after Kevin Gregg faltered at the end of the season. There has been a lot of talk of filling the position with ‘in house’ options with guys like Pedro Strop or Blake Parker, but neither of those guys have a lot of closing experience at the major league level. Brian Wilson, as I stated last year, would be a great addition to the Cubs, and here are a few reasons why I believe that.
So far in his career, Brian Wilson has 171 saves and has converted 87% of his his save opportunities. Strop has a career save percentage of 25% (4 saves in 16 opportunities), and Parker converted the only opportunity he got last year. If these guys are going to close at the big league level, then they will benefit from watching one of the better closers in recent years. On top of that, Wilson also has experience pitching in the postseason. The Cubs had a lot of trouble finishing games last year, especially in the second half of the season. The addition of Wilson would help turn a good number of those losses into wins.
Brian Wilson has a reputation as being a dominant closer. (Photo credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Wilson has a career ERA of 3.10. Of the 23 relievers to appear in a game for the Cubs last year, eight pitchers had an ERA lower than Wilson’s career mark. And of those eight pitchers, only three played in more than 15 games. In Wilson’s best season (2010), he had an ERA of 1.81 in 70 games. There were three Cubs relievers who had ERAs lower than that last year: Rafael Dolis (5.0 innings pitched), Alex Burnett (1.0 IP), and Zac Rosscup (6.2 IP).
I said last June that if Wilson could return to his pre-Tommy John form, then the Cubs “could have a serious late game threat out of the bullpen for years to come.” Last season with the Dodgers, “The Beard” had an ERA of 0.66 in 18 games. Along with that, he had thirteen strikeouts and only four walks. I would call that production ‘dominant.’
If that’s not a big enough sample size for you, then let’s also take a look at his postseason numbers. In six games Wilson gave up four hits while striking out eight batters. He also didn’t allow any runs to score. It’s safe to say that he is still a dominant pitcher.
There are several other reasons why Wilson would be a nice fit for the Cubs. One of those is the fact that he’s just 31 years of age. He could sign a multi-year deal, and he can be around by the time the Cubs are hoping to be one of baseball’s best teams.
He is also…a character (to put it simply). If you image search his name, you’ll find plenty of pictures of his beard, his spandex suit from the EPSY’s, and his appearance on college gameday when he wore an LSU football uniform (and played a trumpet).
Brian Wilson has shown that he is still the dominant pitcher who helped the Giants to two World Series titles. In my opinion, he would be a great addition to the Cubs. He can fill their hole in the closer role, he can mentor the young guys in the bullpen, and can entertain his teammates and fans.
BEST OF MAXIM
Tuesday afternoon, it was announced that the Chicago Cubs had reached an agreement with the Kansas City Royals on a trade. The deal sends veteran catcher George Kottaras to the Cubs, and the Royals received cash in return.
Kottaras has spent most of his major league career playing in a backup/platoon role. He adds a left handed bat for the Cubs, and my guess is that he will be on...
The BBWAA released the Hall of Fame ballot today and I count 6 players that you can reasonably associate with the Cubs: Rafael Palmeiro, Jacque Jones, Sammy Sosa, Lee Smith, Moises Alou and Greg Maddux. Of course, all but Sammy and maybe Lee Smith are more closesly associated with other organziations. Sammy won't be getting in and neither will Lee Smith with Maddux and Frank...
George Kottaras and Theo Epstein have a history. Acquired in 2006 for 5 starts of David Wells, Kottaras spent the first few years of his career as a top catching prospect, with great patience, moderate pop, and the ability to play passable defense. As time took hold of George, he lost most of those talents, and all of his star power with them. What's left is a guy who walks and...
In a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune, Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio hinted that the closer job was currently up for grabs between Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon. Lets take a look at the first half of that duo and see Pedro Strop’s case for the 9th inning role.
Strop had a very inconsistent season in 2013. Although his strikeout rate was a whopping 10.35 K/9, his walk...
The Cubs have traded cash to the Kansas City Royals for George Kottaras per Jon Heyman:
catcher George Kottaras has been traded to the #cubs
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) November 26, 2013
Apparently, nothing is official and I'm not sure if all the media members tweeting about it are simply going off of Heyman's tweet or have their own independent verification, but it...
Apparently, Theo Epstein is suffering from Pedestrian Mall Envy. The City of Chicago—in an apparent effort to increase the already high level of violence—is allowing the Cubs to sell beer and wine in 'kiosks' outside 99-year old Wrigley Field. Fans would be allowed to "bring drinks in plastic cups to the plaza" on Clark Street outside the stadium. But the Cubbies...
The Chicago Cubs improved their catching depth acquiring catcher George Kottaras from the Kansas City Royals for cash. He will compete with Eli Whiteside for the backup catcher role behind Wellington Castillo.
Anything happening with Samardzija?
Tom Loxas reported that the Cubs and Jays might be close last weekend, but since then nothing as happened, and other sources (i.e. Julie's) say not much is happening. I don't really see much happening either. Still, Loxas's sources seem to think that the Cubs want to get some resolution on Samardzija before Thanksgiving/the Winter...
Alberto Cabrera, who could start 2014 in the Cubs bullpen at Wrigley, made his second appearance in the DWL on Wednesday.
Back in March, I wrote about the alleged spring training positional battle story for the Royals’ backup catcher spot between George Kottaras. For all of Kottaras’ defensive liabilities, it was pretty clear he was going to be the choice to be Salvador Perez‘ caddy in 2013 since he had a clearly superior bat to Hayes that overcame his defensive issues. As a left-handed hitter...
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Cubs have acquired catcher George Kottaras from the Kansas City Royals for a cash consideration.
The 30-year-old Kottaras served as Kansas City's backup catcher last season after being claimed off waivers from Oakland in January. He played in 46 games, hitting .180 with five home runs and 12 RBIs.
He is a .214 hitter with 29 home runs and 96 RBIs over...
Wrigley Field is one of Major League Baseball’s few remaining classic ballparks, as it is an annual destination for baseball fans who want to visit but not “sit with those crazy drunks in the bleachers.” But because this sport is also a business, Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts and his family are trying to do everything they can to make sure they’re milking every dime possible...
We are getting ready for Turkey Day, and also gearing up for the Winter Meetings. The word on the street is that Jeff Samardzija will likely be traded before Opening Day, possibly before the Winter Meetings. We’ve been hearing this for weeks now, with some recent developments on Saturday night. The intrepid Tom Loxas with all his random sources has this to say:
As we head into Thanksgiving and await the Winter Meetings, there appears to be a new wrinkle in the land of Rule 5. We’ve written before about some of the Cubs players that could potentially be lost to Rule 5 in early December, which is mildly annoying but not really that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.
Today, The Cub Reporter retweeted an article from Baseball...