So the Cubs will now have three guys in their bullpen who have made the last out in a World Series. That means absolutely nothing, but I bet it would’ve gotten a few retweets. Koji Uehara joins Wade Davis in the addition of depth the Cubs have added to their bullpen. Before you assume Uehara is just a bridge guy for the sixth or seventh inning, you should know that his numbers say he’s one of the best relief pitchers of all time.
According to Christopher Kamka, Uehara has the lowest WHIP among qualified pitchers…ever. When you hear “ever” in a sentence about baseball, you should probably look twice because “ever” is a long time. This stat might actually say more about the current state of the game, considering the top three guys are all currently active players. However, even though the 41 year-old Uehara doesn’t have overwhelming stuff and is, well, really old, you can’t assume that he’s just gotten lucky. He has a big enough sample size to confidently say the Cubs are getting one of the best relievers in recent history.
The only thing you could nitpick at is his K:BB ratio has gone down dramatically the past two seasons. Still, for a team looking for left handed relievers this might qualify as a stopgap, Uehara has a career .183 BAA against left handed batters. Anyone complaining about this potentially being bad money doesn’t want to win more Championships. The Cubs have built a ridiculous core of young talent and now they need to add free agents to get as many bites at the apple as possible. The window is now.