The Chicago Cubs are making the right moves ahead of the 2023 season to become contenders.
However, they are still missing one important piece before they can become a playoff contender.
Despite the signings of multiple players for their infield and outfield, they have yet to find a closer.
Their situation in 2022 for a permanent closer was a nightmare after they traded David Robertson.
While Robertson started 2022 with a 2.23 ERA and 14 saves with the Cubs, they traded him to the Philadelphia Phillies.
The trade was for multiple reasons, as Robertson was aging and already had five blown saves.
But after letting him walk, the Cubs had a rotating door for pitchers in the ninth inning.
This leads the door wide open in Chicago for their next closer.
However, manager David Ross might be inclined to use pitchers based on matchups, and not have a permanent closer.
It’s less about anyone having closing ability than Ross leaning more toward utilizing guys in the best possible matchup. If that window is the 7th instead of 9th, Ross usually goes with that. Now, if someone performs like D-Rob did in ‘22, there could be a de facto closer in ‘23.
— Ryan Herrera (@ryan_a_herrera) January 10, 2023
While this idea can work, it’s best to have a solid closer.
Many MLB teams who won playoff games and World Series games did so off the arm of their closer.
For proof of this, fans need to look at legendary New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.
Rivera saved 42 postseason games for the Yankees during his career in 46 save opportunities.
He also had an 8-1 record during the postseason, making him an elite closer and all-round pitcher.
His career shows how important having an elite closer can be for a team.
With several bullpen pitchers that can be a closer in 2023, Ross needs to pick one to become the next closer.NEXT: Cubs Sign Third Left-Handed Pitcher During Offseason