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Chicago Cubs: Candidates for the Cubs’ 2018 starting rotation

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May 12, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Eddie Butler (33) pitches during the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports
May 12, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Eddie Butler (33) pitches during the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 26, 2017; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Alec Mills (24) pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Sloan Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 26, 2017; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Alec Mills (24) pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Sloan Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Cubs are losing 40 percent of their starting rotation after the 2017 season. Here are some possible replacements

The Chicago Cubs front office and many fans knew that the Cubs were going to lose Jake Arrieta and John Lackey after the 2017 season. While losing two-fifths of the rotation will sting, losing Lackey and Arrieta may not be the worst thing that happens to the Chicago Cubs.

In eight starts this season, Arrieta has a 5.44 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. That is a far cry from the 1.77 ERA and 0.86 WHIP Arrieta had in 2015 when he won the NL Cy Young Award, or the 3.10 ERA and 1.08 WHIP he posted a year ago. Yes, Arrieta has thrown two no-hitters in as many years, but that will not be enough for the Cubs to pay the steep asking price Arrieta will no doubt ask for this offseason.

Lackey, on the other hand, will not be re-signed due to his age. The 38-year-old posted solid numbers for the Cubs last season (11-8, 3.35 ERA, 180 Ks, 188 1/3 innings pitched), but he is off to a slow start in 2017.

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So far, Lackey is 3-3 with a 4.29 ERA through seven starts. He has already given up eight home runs and 44 hits in 42 innings pitched. It is not as bad a start as Arrieta, but given Lackey’s age, the Cubs would not be in a position to re-sign the veteran this offseason.

With some holes opening up in their rotation, the Cubs will be in the market for a starting pitcher or two come December.

Let’s take a look at some possible candidates for the 2018 starting rotation.

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