Chicago Cubs: Takeaways from Theo Epstein’s press conference

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Sep 30, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher

Jordan Zimmermann

(27) delivers a pitch to an Atlanta Braves batter in the first inning of their game at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Free agent starting pitchers to be targeted?

This is what Epstein had to say Thursday afternoon about the Cubs’ need of quality arms heading into the 2016 campaign.

"“The topic sentence is we would like to add more quality pitching. Anybody who follows the team knows that. We’ve been open and transparent about it, that we’re really building a foundation of young position players and that we’re going to trust ourselves to add pitching along the way and build really effective pitching staffs each year and over time add impact pitching.”"

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Now, the list of arms that will (likely) be available this offseason includes several aces: the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Zack Greinke, the Toronto Blue Jays’ David Price, the Washington Nationals’ Jordan Zimmermann and the Kansas City Royals’ Johnny Cueto.

To be sure, each of those names have demonstrated varying levels of dominance during their big-league careers, but one thing is clear: adding any of these names would give the Chicago Cubs a lot more confidence in the starting rotation in 2016.

When you can add one of these names to the tandem of Arrieta and Lester, the Cubs’ staff goes from decent to outstanding in a single move. The one downside, as Epstein noted, with free agent arms is simple: they’re “inherently risky.”

More money is needed with these free agents seeking longer deals, as well – as the Cubs have proven under Epstein; the days of overspending for aging free agents without cause are long-gone.

Next: Bringing back a veteran leader