The Cubs have seemed to lose pitchers Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, and Tyler Chatwood to free agency. Leaving them with Yu Darvish, Kyle Hendricks, and Alec Mills to man their starting pitching rotation. As is, the Cubs starting rotation will not be strong enough to bring the World Series back to the north side.
Although most Cubs fans would love to see ace Trevor Bauer make his way to the north side, it is unlikely, as his price tag will just not be in Chicago’s budget. With that said here are three starting pitchers the Cubs should target in free agency.
Cubs Should Sign Marcus Stroman
With a market value somewhere around $16 million, Stroman would be a great addition to the Cubs rotation.
The seven-year veteran pitcher spent his first six seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays before being dealt to the New York Mets halfway through 2019. Throughout his career, he has posted a 51-47 record to go along with his 3.76 ERA. Stroman has also participated in one All-Star game and won a single Gold Glove.
Stroman would complement any major league rotation. No matter where he goes or where he has come from, he plays with a chip on his shoulder. With that in mind, he could perfectly complement the Cubs’ rotation.
After two seasons, including a disappointing 2020 campaign, “The Big Maple” will be a free agent. Through five starts in 2020, James Paxton posted a 6.64 ERA before missing the remainder of the season with a left flexor strain.
Prior to his time in New York, Paxton played six seasons in Seattle, then he was sent to the New York Yankees in 2018. While with the Mariners Paxton appeared in 102 games starting all 102. He posted a 3.42 ERA with a 3.67 strikeout to walk ratio in 582 innings pitched.
Although he played great in Seattle when he moved to New York he seemed to lose a step. In two seasons he started 34 games, posting a 4.16 ERA with a strikeout to walk ratio of 3.42.
With Paxton’s market value somewhere around the $12 million per season mark, he could prove to be a steal in the middle of the rotation. Coming off an injury-riddled season could prove to be beneficial for the Cubs. This could result in Paxton taking a shorter-term deal for less money.
Jake Arrieta may not be the same player as he was when he was a Cub, but it has become evident he is most dominant when donning a Cubs jersey. After three not so great seasons with the Phillies, it may be time for the Cubs former ace to come back to the north side for a redemption season.
Through three seasons with the Phillies Arrieta appeared in 64 games striking out 280 batters and posting a 4.36 ERA. That’s a step up from his early years in Baltimore, where he appeared in 69 games, 63 of which were starts. While with the Orioles he posted a dismal 5.46 ERA adding 277 strikeouts. After a disappointing four seasons in Baltimore, he would then spend five seasons in Chicago. With the Cubs, Arrieta would start 128 games, posting a 2.73 ERA while striking out 793 batters. He would also help lead Chicago to their first World Series in 108 years and win a Cy Young award.
Although Arrieta is not the pitcher he once was, he could still be an asset to the Cubs’ rotation. While coming off of two very disappointing seasons in Philadelphia, his market value is somewhere around $6 million, thus, making him a lot cheaper than the likes of Stroman and Paxton.
The Cubs have plenty of needs this offseason, with starting pitching being one of the biggest. The three pitchers named above are just a few of the many options the Cubs can take a run at. If the price tags are right, hopefully, Cubs’ fans will see at least one of the three at Wrigley this offseason.
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