It's not quite the Ryan Express, but it will do.
The Cubs have looked high and low for a lefty reliever. They've looked even harder for one that can get opposing lefties out. And after the failed experiments that were Mark Guthrie, Scott Eyre and Neal Cotts, it is now time to add former closer B.J. Ryan to the mix, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.
In 2005, Ryan notched 36 saves and an All-Star appearance with the Baltimore Orioles and parlayed that into a mega-million dollar contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2006, he saved 38 games, had an injury plagued 2007 before bouncing back in 2008 with a 32 save season.
The 2009 campaign has been a struggle for the two-time All-Star. Ryan currently owns a 1.887 WHIP, which is a major concern especially for the lack of patience manager Lou Piniella has shown in his tenure with the Cubs. On the bright side, Ryan had WHIPs of 1.137, 0.857 and 1.276 in his three 30-save years.
Adding a lefty with closers stuff to the back end of the bullpen could be general manager Jim Hendry's best move since bringing Jim Edmonds on board last season.
Besides, Ryan can't be worse than Neal Cotts ... can he?