Chicago Cubs: How difficult will it be to find quality arms?


Prior to entering the 2015 campaign, it looked as if the Chicago Cubs had one of the best starting rotations in the National League Central, if anything, one of the top five in the National League altogether.

Since the season opener against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field, this starting rotation has taken a handful of beatings. Despite starting off the year on a bit of a shaky note, Jon Lester has showed signs of being that true ace that the Cubs have been hoping for while Jake Arrieta has stepped up, yet again, continuing his performance from last season despite a few hiccups of his own.

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Now, with the yearly trade deadline set for July, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer will be looking to add a quality arm to their five-man rotation in hopes of reaching the next level.

As of right now, the Cubs currently have themselves a spot in the Wild Card race with plenty of time to either improve in that area or even the division title. They’re only 8.5 games out and could gain some ground on the Cardinals – who will visit Wrigley for four games this week including a doubleheader that’s scheduled for tomorrow.

While the Cubs prepare to become buyers this season, the list of names that are available could very well be slim. This could make it difficult for them to put together a deal depending on what the team is asking for and who they are looking to acquire.

"“There’s only like three or four sellers, and they’re not eager to make deals right now. I think they feel, like given the supply and demand dynamic, they should do really well (as July 31 approahces). Until they get exactly what they are looking for, they’re not going to make a move.” – Epstein via CBS Chicago"

A couple of names that have been mentioned are Jonathan Papelbon and Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies and Scott Kazmir of the Oakland Athletics.

Philadelphia could be seeking a huge haul for anyone who comes forward since they are currently in rebuild mode.

The Cubs, as we all know, have a ton of top-notch position players within their minor league circuit that could potentially become trade pieces.

Especially first baseman Dan Vogelbach, who could come up in a conversation between Epstein and an American League general manager looking to find themselves a designated hitter since he still needs to work on his defense.

One comforting note that was mentioned in the article posted on CBS Chicago is that the Cubs aren’t interested in parting ways with players who have recently found success at the big league level.

Which means guys such as Jorge Soler, Javier Baez, Kyle Schwarber, Arismendy Alcantara, and Addison Russell will remain with the club for a while.

"“There’s a few teams that essentially know they’re in or know they should be in, and so they’re a little bit cautious. And then there’s sort of the rest of baseball, teams that are in contention and looking to upgrade but don’t want to be overly aggressive and are waiting to find a reasonable deal. I think this year those deals are probably going to happen really close to July 31.” – Epstein"

So while the hunt continues, Theo has plenty of time to weigh his options on who will become available to deal away and who he wants to keep on board as the team pushes forward.

Next: Hendricks Leads Cubs; Soler Returns