Red Sox Trade Josh Osich to Cubs Ahead of Deadline for Player to Be Named

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 31, 2020

Boston Red Sox's Josh Osich pitches during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

The Chicago Cubs acquired Josh Osich from the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later ahead of Monday's deadline.

The lefty reliever has posted a 5.74 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 15.2 innings. MLB.com's Jordan Bastian noted Osich's ERA belies how effective he has been in certain situations:

Jordan Bastian @MLBastian

Osich has a 5.74 ERA overall, but 5 of 10 ER allowed came in one outing. Has held lefties to .231 (.747 OPS) in '20, and .211 (.665 OPS) in career. https://t.co/5DlZZ64FeM

MLB's three-batter minimum somewhat diluted the value of specialist relievers, but contending teams will still look to strengthen their bullpen in preparation for the postseason.

Cubs relievers are collectively 25th in FIP (5.10), per FanGraphs. Craig Kimbrel continues to go backward, and Chicago lacks the kind of lights-out, late-inning option that is almost a requirement for franchises with World Series ambitions.

Kimbrel was supposed to be that guy but has sported a 7.53 ERA since signing with Chicago last year.

Jeremy Jeffress has been effective in the closer role. However, his fastball is averaging a career-low 93.63 mph, per Brooks Baseball, and he has only eight strikeouts over 13.1 innings.

In lieu of landing a star closer prior to Monday's 4 p.m. ET trade deadline, strengthening the bullpen around the margins was a smart approach for Chicago.