Is Zack Britton A Cost-Effective Upgrade For The Cubs Bullpen?


Zack Britton #53 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the eighth inning in Game One of the American League Division Series at PETCO Park on October 05, 2020 in San Diego, California.
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)


Bullpen issues for the Chicago Cubs were a theme for the team in 2022.

With the Cubs blowing 30 out of 74 save opportunities last season, the team needs help in their bullpen.

While there are some costly free agent pitchers out there, Zack Britton could become a cost-effective option for the team.

However, the cheaper price comes with a laundry list of issues for the 35-year-old reliever.

For starters, he had a major setback in 2022 when trying to return from his Tommy Johns surgery.

However, the issue with his throwing arm isn’t the only health issue he’s had during his career.

Other health concerns include hamstring and Achilles injuries which sidelined him for a substantial amount of time.

While the injury history makes him a cheaper option, it also carries a risk that he won’t play much in 2023.

A concern like this will easily take him out of the running for a contract with the Cubs.

However, if the team examines his record as a reliever, they will see solid numbers.

His 2019 season saw him appearing in 66 games, ending the season with a 3-1 record, 1.91 ERA, 29 holds, and three saves.

The following season was solid as well, as he was in 20 games during the COVID-shortened season.

In those 20 games, he posted a 1.89 ERA, three holds, and eight saves.

He also held batters to a .174 average during the 2020 season, his best since his 2016 season performance.

If he can remain healthy, he’s got a track record of being a solid reliever.

However, his injury history prevents him from being a cost-effective upgrade for the Cubs bullpen.

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