Chicago Cubs: Will Theo Epstein dip back into his Boston roots?


Now that the 2015 MLB season is officially over, we can all now start to look into the changes that will be made for every team and every player in baseball. Considering how close the Chicago Cubs came to playing in the Fall Classic, you can imagine that their wish list is going to be interesting.

Of course starting pitching will be on the top of everyone’s list. There is a wealth of pitching that will be available via free agency, with names like David Price, Zack Greinke, Jordan Zimmerman and Jeff Samardzija leading the way. This mix of talent means it could be an old familiar face to Theo Epstein that could be a fit for his club on the North Side of Chicago.

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It may be unlikely, but starting pitcher Clay Buchholz could be available as well in free agency, if the Boston Red Sox were to decide not to pick up his 2016 team option for $13 million.

Coming off an injury that forced him to miss the entire second-half of the season, Buchholz was 7-7 with a 3.26 ERA with the struggling Red Sox, who were amongst the league’s worst teams.

Buchholz, a former first round pick of the Boston Red Sox back in 2005, has had his struggles with staying healthy in his short career with Boston. He has yet to make 30 starts in a season, but is a former two-time All-Star.

On the other side of the injury coin is the fact that he has just barely over 1,000 innings worth of work on his right shoulder, which pales in comparison to some of the other names available (Price: 1,441, Greinke: 2,094). This could actually help his stock a bit, despite his injury-prone label.

While it is likely the Red Sox will exercise the option for the 2016 season, it is possible that Boston could look to move Buchholz, along with another player, to gain some assets to try to retool their team and dump some contracts.

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The Boston Globe had article supporting the notion that the Red Sox could move their 2015 staff ace for the right price, along with one of their top young outfielders, Jackie Bradley Jr.

In the article, they mention the Red Sox interest in several relievers; could the Cubs possibly dangle some combination of Pedro Strop, Hector RondonCarl Edwards and other names for Buchholz and Bradley?

If the Cubs were to decide the price was too high on Dexter Fowler‘s return, there would be a need for a new leadoff man and center fielder – and Bradley would certainly be able to fill that void.

Buchholz has a lot of ability and talent, maybe he needs the right pitching coach to help him revive his career – kind of like Chris Bosio did for both Jake Arrieta and Jason Hammein recent years

Now is your chance to weigh in, if you were Epstein or Jed Hoyer, would you put a package together of Strop, Rondon, or Edwards with a Dan Vogelbach for Buchholz and Bradley Jr.?