Chicago Cubs: Team doesn’t need Jake Arrieta or Yu Darvish to win

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 18: Jake Arrieta
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 18: Jake Arrieta /
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Chicago Cubs
LOS ANGELES, CA – AUGUST 30: Starting pitcher Jake Arrieta #49 of the Chicago Cubsis greeted by agent Scott Boras after pitching a no hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on August 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. The Cubs won 2-0. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /

The hot stove is gradually getting warmer as the Chicago Cubs get set to head into the 2017 Baseball Winter Meetings. There’s been speculation that they will sign either Jake Arrieta or Yu Darvish. But do they need either of them?

The Chicago Cubs‘ rotation wasn’t the dominant force it was in 2016. To be fair, that rotation’s performance was a bit of an anomaly. Collectively, Cubs starters went 81-39 with a 2.96 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. They pitched nearly 1,000 innings and recorded over 900 strikeouts.

That kind of season simply cannot be expected to be duplicated. It was the ceiling. The 2017 season wasn’t as peachy for the Cubs’ rotation. They went 64-47 with a 4.05 ERA, a significant drop-off in production.

With Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish hitting the free agent market, many have speculated the Chicago Cubs will make a serious run at one of them. But do they really need either of them?