Chicago Cubs: Breaking down an offseason to-do list

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Step Two: Bring in Jordan Zimmermann

As some of you likely are as well, I am an avid listener of MLB Network Radio. Earlier this week, I called in to Inside Pitch, a program hosted by Casey Stern and former Cincinnati Reds GM Jim Bowden.

I prefaced my call with this: “While everyone is hopeful the Cubs will sign either Zack Greinke of David Price, I just don’t think it’s necessary for the team to win it all next year.”

Bowden agreed and then laid out the plan that I had already formulated and, thus, makes up a large portion of this piece (bring back Fowler, sign Zimmermann, etc). But why the Washington Nationals right-hander instead of one of the “top two” arms on the market? Because, in the end, I don’t expect him to be that much worse than Price or Greinke.

Now, yes. Those two are on a completely different level. You could make a very strong case that both should have won their respective league’s Cy Young honors this season – each turning in dominant performances to lead their clubs to October. But when you look at Zimmermann, he profiles perfectly for what the Chicago Cubs need.

For whatever reason, no one really cares just how good this guy has been in Washington. In two of the last three years, he’s finished in the top five of NL Cy Young voting, winning at least a dozen games in each of the last four seasons.

The two-time All-Star has average a low-3.00 ERA in that same stretch, pitching to a record 26 games above .500 to go along with an impressive 4.37 strikeout-to-walk ratio, as well as a 3.33 FIP.

He’s going to be considerably cheaper than either of the top two options on the free agent market. It’s time the Cubs play it smart, add a legitimate top-of-the-rotation arm and save the excess $50 million to address other areas.

Next: Trade Starlin Castro for more pitching