Little is known about the Cubs front office’s plan for this off-season. What is known is that the team is looking to improve their starting rotation, but at the same time, their starting rotation is going to take a hit if the team winds up trading Matt Garza. Though if recent reports are true, Garza may end up remaining with the Cubs due to the fact that president of baseball operations Theo Epstein is asking for a haul of prospects in any trade involving the 27 year old starting pitcher. The latest rumblings going around is that the Cubs will not trade Garza for anything less than the package that the Kansas City Royals got for starting pitcher Zack Greinke from the Milwaukee Brewers last winter.
While Epstein is gauging the trade market for Garza, who is considered by some as the best starting pitcher on the trade market, the Cubs’ president is also gauging the market for free agent starting pitcher C.J. Wilson.
Ken Rosenthal tweeted this afternoon that sources tell both Rosenthal and his colleague Jon Morosi that the Cubs have spoke with the agent for Wilson in an attempt to try and gauge the market for the free agent starting pitcher. The market for Wilson is pretty high. The Washington Nationals, Miami Marlins, Los Angeles Angels, and Texas Rangers have all expressed interest in Wilson. Up to his point it was questionable to believe that Wilson would receive the $100 million contract that he and his representatives sought, but recent reports suggest that one team has offered Wilson a six year contract worth somewhere in the ballpark of $1oo million. That teams is believed to be the Nationals. If that is the case, I would expect Wilson to be putting on a Nationals uniform before the week concludes.
Putting the Nationals recent offer to Wilson aside for a moment, Wilson would seem to fit the Cubs’ needs. After beginning his career as a reliever, Wilson has transformed over the past two seasons into a starting pitcher–one that has been a Cy Young award candidate for the Rangers for the past two seasons. Wilson won 16 games for the Rangers this season while posting an ERA of 2.94 to go along with a WHIP 1.13. In addition to being left handed, Wilson has gone past the 200 inning mark in each of his first two seasons as a starting pitcher.
Need I remind you what the Cubs are looking for this winter: A starting pitcher; A left handed starting pitcher; A left handed starting pitcher that is capable of pitching 200+ innings; So yes, Wilson–from every aspect–would be a perfect fit for the Cubs. But as we know in life, nothing is perfect. With a price tag of six years and $100 million, the Cubs will probably overlook the fact that Wilson is a perfect fit for their team. Rather than overpaying for Wilson, it seems more likely that Epstein and company will target the likes of Edwin Jackson, or Erik Bedard.