As teams take advantage of a free agent market that contains a lot of help in the form of middle relievers and back of the bullpen guys, one big target remains. Setup man Jesse Crain was among the best in all of baseball in 2013 before a strained pitching shoulder sent him to the disabled list.
Many teams will be interested in Crain, and tonight Bruce Levine reports that the Chicago Cubs are among those teams:
The Cubs have expressed some interest in former White Sox set up man Jesse Crain . Checking medical s as are several clubs.
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) December 24, 2013
A product of Boulder, CO, Crain has also been the subject of numerous rumors that link him to the Colorado Rockies. They were interested in him last summer as a trade target, and earlier this month Denver Post reporter Troy Renck tweeted that they would keep an eye on him as a free agent target now:
Jesse Crain remains option for pen depending on his health. He could sign later in winter w someone after showing shoulder is good
— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) December 7, 2013
If Crain convinces teams that his shoulder is right, he stands to seriously improve somebody’s bullpen. In 38 games last season he put together a 0.79 ERA and an 11.29 K/9 mark. He struck out 46 hitters against only 11 walks. Teams will tread carefully with his injury, but he could end up being one of the quality additions of an off-season that is already loaded with bullpen arms.