Report: The Cubs are “actively exploring” trade for a top closer

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After addressing a need for their rotation by adding veteran right-hander John Lackey on a reported two-year, $32 million contract, the Cubs have apparently turned their attention to upgrading the back-end of their bullpen.

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Cubs are “actively exploring” a trade for one of the one top closers. No specifics on who they are targeting, but a bunch of closers are reportedly available via trade right now, including Aroldis Chapman of the Reds, Ken Giles of the Phillies, Jake McGee and Brad Boxberger of the Rays, and Andrew Miller of the Yankees. The Nationals have also made Jonathan Papelbon and Drew Storen available.

The Cubs already have a pretty good closer in Hector Rondon, who had a 1.67 ERA and 69/15 K/BB ratio in 70 innings this past season. However, the prospect of using him in a set-up role in front of someone like Chapman (again, just speculation) is obviously really enticing.

David Price has opted out of the 2020 season

David Price opts out of season
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David Price has opted out of the 2020 season. he’s the biggest star to do so to date. He said the that he will not play the 2020 season, citing health concerns because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Price joins Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross of the Washington Nationals, Ian Desmond of the Colorado Rockies, Mike Leake of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and free agent Tyson Ross on the list of players who have chosen not to take part in the season.

Price, who was traded from the Boston Red Sox to the Dodgers in a five-player deal in February, previously agreed to pay more than 200 Dodgers minor leaguers $1,000 each to make up for lost wages. He was poised to enter the fifth season of a seven-year, $217 million contract he signed with the Red Sox in December of 2015. Per the terms of the agreement between the MLBPA and MLB, Price will not be paid for the 2020 season.