Now Commenting On:

{"event":["hot_stove" ] }

Cubs' closer competition wide open

Cubs' closer competition wide open

Cubs' closer competition wide open

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Cubs may go to Spring Training and let the relievers battle it out for the closer's job.

"In theory, we can," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Tuesday at the baseball Winter Meetings. "I think we have people on the roster who can certainly hold down that job. At that point, it would be on [manager Rick Renteria] to name a closer in Spring Training. I'm not sure that will happen or not. I think we have more power arms on the roster and we feel better about our bullpen. We do still want to add to it."

The list of candidates includes Pedro Strop, Justin Grimm and Hector Rondon. However, the Cubs are looking at adding some relievers and hoping the chance to be a closer could entice some free agents.

"In free agency, opportunity is a great thing," Hoyer said. "When you have that opportunity, it's something you can take advantage of."

Renteria did admit that managing the bullpen is the "most critical part of the ballgame." He'd like to have roles established for each pitcher.

"We're a club that's in transition," Renteria said Tuesday. "Like on any baseball club, roles are defined over time and established by the players who are out performing, and over time, they chip away at who they are and what they're about. I think you need to use your bullpen according to the situation."

Kevin Gregg took over the closer's duties last season when Carlos Marmol struggled and was then traded and Kyuji Fujikawa was injured. Gregg is now a free agent.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["hot_stove" ] }
{"event":["hot_stove" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español