The 2021 Chicago Cubs made their first real move of the offseason by bringing in Joc Pederson on a one-year deal to fill the void in left field, but they still have more moves to make to become players in the NL Central. The 2021 Chicago Cubs also signed Jonathan Holder on another cheap one-year contract earlier in the offseason. They have lost more than they have gained, as Jose Quintana, Jon Lester, and Tyler Chatwood have all left their rotation, and Kyle Schwarber will no longer man left field.
The 2021 Chicago Cubs have shown that they are more willing to spend than they previously were, as the Ricketts’ have increased Jed Hoyer’s budget. The Cubs still won’t be in on the best free agents available like Trevor Bauer, and although James Paxton would be a great fit, he is also unlikely, they will definitely be looking to find hidden gems with low-cost free agents. Here are some guys who could help the 2021 Chicago Cubs compete with the St. Louis Cardinals for the division title
2021 Chicago Cubs Target: Mike Foltynewicz
Foltynewicz is a veteran arm, but he was DFA’d by the Braves this season after just 3.1 innings and one start. A 2018 all-star, the 29-year-old saw a massive dip in velocity following a disappointing 2019 season. Although there have been rumors of a return for Jake Arrieta and Jeff Samardzija, Foltynewicz is a better option. He’s got a 4.03 ERA, 4.20 FIP, 6.1 WAR, 14.7% K-BB%, and 4.31 SIERA, which isn’t great but he wouldn’t be expected to be a top-of-the-line starter.
2021 Chicago Cubs: Low-Cost Free Agent Relievers
The Cubs are desperately in need of relief help. Craig Kimbrel had a solid 2020 season, and Rowan Wick is a solid bullpen arm, but although they have options they could use more big-league relievers. The Cubs re-signed Andrew Chafin on a one-year deal as I was writing this. He was a member of the Cubs after they traded for him at the deadline, and is a great arm who had a 3.64 ERA, 3.20 FIP, 3.48 SIERA, and 17.9% K-BB% since 2017. They can still add more relief pitching, especially since their rotation is so horrible.
Peacock has gone very under-the-radar for years but has been a great reliever since 2016. He only threw 2.1 innings in 2020, and he’s 33 years old, but he would be a great, cheap, reliever to replace Jeremy Jeffress in a late-inning role. Since 2016, Peacock has a 3.51 ERA, 3.74 FIP, 19.5% K-BB%, and 3.69 SIERA. Peacock will be relatively cheap, especially as a reliever coming off of a shortened season, and he’s a great fit on the 2021 Chicago Cubs.
Kela, a former Pirate, and Ranger has a 2.87 ERA, 3.28 FIP, 21.3% K-BB%, and 3.26 SIERA since 2017. He isn’t talked about much, but he’s one of the most underrated arms on the market this offseason. Kela was the Pirates’ closer in 2018, but not in 2019, so he doesn’t necessarily have to close games, as that role will probably be Kimbrel’s to lose.
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