Chicago Cubs News

Chicago Cubs: Which Rays’ starter would be the best option for the Cubs?

Sep 23, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 23, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Chicago Cubs have made several moves, adding to their World Series roster and experienced a few losses. Key losses that left holes on their depth chart that needed to be addressed.

So far, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have done fairly well at filling those holes. In fact, the Chicago Cubs may have a better team in 2017. After signing Jon Jay, Brian Duensing, and trading Jorge Soler in exchange for Wade Davis, the future remains bright.

Mainly because half the team is still under team control for the next seven or so years. Which is great because the Cubs don’t need to necessarily spend a ton of money.

Despite money not being an issue, Chicago would like to add another pitcher to their starting rotation. Adding a little bit of competition will spice things up come mid-February when it’s time to get back to work.

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Now, last year, the North Siders were rumored to be interested in a few pitchers within the Tampa Bay Rays organization. Nothing came of those rumors as Javier Baez and Jorge Soler was included — thankfully, Baez will remain a Cub.

This time around, both teams may be scouting the other with hopes of coming to an agreement that will make each side happy. What will be the cost and who would be traded?

At the end of November, I had asked those who read our content here at Cubbies Crib if they had any questions for us. Consider this our first Cubbies Crib Mailbag with a little bit of a twist.

Too much?

Dan Schmelzer of Iowa asks, ” Out of all the seemingly available Rays starters (excluding Archer for cost), which pitcher would make most sense for the Cubs in a trade?” — let’s take a look at that depth chart.

But first, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the Tampa Bay Rays are looking to bring in a bigger haul comparable to what the Chicago White Sox had received for Chris Sale. Which automatically cancels out Chris Archer, a former Cub prospect.

If the Cubs were to attempt to make a deal for Archer, giving up multiple names including Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. would be a reality. However, it is not. Being able to grab a worthy No. 4 or No. 5 starter should be the goal.

Without having to break the bank, granted the amount of talent they still have on their farm system. So, someone such as Alex Cobb could be a great project for pitching coach, Chris Bosio.

Next: MM: Lester's new catcher; Heyward hard at work

Cobb, 29, ended the 2012 campaign with an ERA of 4.03 but turned things around in 2013-2014 by dropping his earned run average under three. In fact, his career low sat at 2.76 in 2013 behind 22 starts.

He underwent Tommy John surgery and struggled in his return last season. His ERA swelled up to 8.59 in five starts as he surrendered 21 earned runs behind five homers and 32 hits in 22 innings of work.

Alex is expected to bounce back well and is receiving interested from other teams according to Jon Heyman back on December 5th.

Compared to other names such as Jake Odorizzi (26) and Blake Snell (24), he seems like the best option. There is plenty of potential there and the Cubs, as mentioned before, wouldn’t have to give up much to acquire his services.

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