1. Adding Starting Pitching
Last winter, the Cubs went all-in by signing Jon Lester to a mega-deal. This winter, the Cubs project to be in the mix to do that again with the kind of starting pitching that is on the market. Epstein has made no secret that starting pitching will be a focus this offseason. All signs could point to David Price as the big fish for Epstein and Maddon to target. But there are also guys like Zack Greinke, Johnny Cueto, and Jordan Zimmerman that could be big-time targets. If the Cubs decide to perhaps go after quantity and spread the money out over multiple arms there are options like Marco Estrada, Doug Fister, Scott Kazmir, and John Lackey.
Obviously, the splash play would be to land the potential 2015 AL Cy Young winner in Price, and match him with possible 2015 NL Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester. That would be a trio that could certainly ruin a few lineups next season. Arrieta had an amazing run, but it will be very hard to replicate that next year. Lester’s numbers were slightly down, but project to be better in year two of his contract. Adding Price would only make the intimidating duo an elite trio. The Cubs saw first hand that pitching depth will only deepen October runs, and Chicago figures to be very active in the pitching market this winter to solve that.
Whichever direction the Cubs choose the winter figures to be an active one in Chicago. Last season, the Cubs announced that they were coming. This season, now as Vegas favorites, the Cubs are ready to announce that they are here to stay.
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