Chicago Cubs: Five players the team ‘should’ pursue this offseason

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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SAN DIEGO, CA – SEPTEMBER 7: Clayton Richard
SAN DIEGO, CA – SEPTEMBER 7: Clayton Richard /

5. Clayton Richard

With the likely departure of both John Lackey and Jake Arrieta, the Chicago Cubs have some holes to fill in their rotation. Clayton Richard is the obvious solution. He’s only 34 years old, so he could potentially be a long-term answer as well.

Richard has been one of the San Diego Padres‘ best pitchers the last the couple seasons, which is quite impressive when you consider the plethora of quality arms residing in their rotation. Over the course of 53 2/3 innings pitched with San Diego in 2016, Richard posted a 2.52 ERA with a whopping 34 strikeouts.

Can he handle the pressures of the postseason, you ask? Well, Richard has a career 0.82 ERA in the postseason, so yes, he’s your man if you want to start winning October baseball again. By comparison, Clayton Kershaw has a career 4.40 postseason ERA, so it’s safe to say Richard is the best “Clayton” in Major League Baseball. Sorry for that hard truth bomb.

Numbers don’t lie. Clayton Richard is a straight baller and the Cubs need him. What will it cost to get Clayton Richard? It won’t be cheap, but I think a package centered around Kyle Schwarber could get the job done. Clayton Richard briefly played football for the University of Michigan. Kyle Schwarber is bad at running. You do the math.