For those of you starving for some real news (and who isn't?), the Cubs made a minor move today in signing 38 year old lefty relief specialist Trever Miller to a minor-league deal. It's likely just a depth move, but could have other implications.
If there's one thing the Cubs seem to have in great quantity it's young, MLB ready left-handed relievers. It allowed them to part with Marshall to get 3 good young players, could this move make the Cubs a bit more flexible as well?
The Cubs have James Russell as a shoo-in for the pen at the major league level and from there it's a battle between quality reliever prospects John Gaub, Scott Maine, and Jeff Beliveau. At first glance it seems like the Cubs don't need another lefty out of the pen, but Gaub and Maine have had command issues to straighten out and Beliveau has yet to pitch above the AA level. Even the "veteran" James Russell has only parts of two seasons experience and he is expected to take on a more important, late inning role this season. It would seem the Cubs would need some veteran depth regardless of what happens.
It's also possible that the Cubs could lose one of the lefties as compensation to the Red Sox or Padres. The Padres were known to be interested in Sean Marshall and James Russell earlier, so perhaps they are still looking for a lefty bullpen arm. Jim Callis of BA speculated a couple months ago that Beliveau would make a good (and realistic) compensation choice for Boston.
Miller's role will be to provide insurance as a lefty specialist. He last pitched for Boston but spent most of the season with the Cardinals where he pitched 39 games totaling 15.2 innings and a 4.02 ERA (though he was far more effective vs. LH hitters). He had a 3.80 ERA overall last season has a lifetime mark of 3.74.