Free agent options: Which pitchers could help the Cubs?


by - Senior Writer -
Jon Lester is still a possibility with Cubs (Raj Mehta - USA Today Sports)
Jon Lester is still a possibility with Cubs (Raj Mehta - USA Today Sports)

While most of the positions are taken care of on this roster, the Cubs do have some holes, and here are some pitchers to potentially watch the next few months.

STARTING PITCHING: For the first time in years, the Cubs need starting pitching badly. I am not talking about adding one guy to the rotation, but instead the real possibility of three arms. Adbert Alzolay and Alec Mills will get looks, but the Cubs still need middle rotation help. With Yu Darvish's name being mentioned in trade talks, things could worsen before they get better.

Hopefully, Darvish stays put, and he, along with Kyle Hendricks, can anchor the top of that rotation once again. What about the No. 3 spot that was occupied by Tyler Chatwood last season. Jake Odorizzi, who the Cubs targeted in the past, is available, as is Rick Porcello. Both are inning eaters who have had decent success over their careers.

With Jon Lester and Jose Quintana gone, the Cubs almost certainly need a lefty, but they appear to be talking with Lester right now. The sides have an interest in reaching a deal, and hopefully, they can. If they can't, Cole Hamels and J.A. Happ are available, but at 38 years old, would that be a wise investment? Another southpaw is James Paxton, who at 32 may be the best lefty available right now. He would cost a little more than the Cubs may want to spend, but they need starters and, for sure, a lefty.

BULLPEN: The list for relief pitching is so long that I could spend three days on it. The reality is the Cubs bullpen was one of the team's bright spots last year, and they could be set for this season. Guys like Jason Adam, Rowan Wick, Kyle Ryan, Craig Kimbrel, and Dan Winkler could be back, giving the Cubs a solid base to build around. Expect Jed Hoyer to make a run for Jeremy Jeffress once again in hopes he can duplicate his 2020.

That would still leave a few openings for arm additions, and Kimbrel most likely is done as a closer. Kirby Yates, Trevor Rosenthal, Wade Davis, Hector Rondon, Jared Hughes, David Phelps, Mike Montgomery, and Blake Treinen, to name a few, are all going to be cost friendly options to have. All those names have had great success in the pen and are coming off strong seasons.

There you have it, Cubs fans, a list of potential pieces for this team to target. They have some money to spend, and most of these names will not break the bank. With the amount of talent left on this roster, it is too early to rebuild. They need to retool and refocus on the task at hand.

Part 1: Free agent options: Which players could help the Cubs in 2021?

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