Chicago Cubs have other focuses outside of Shohei Ohtani
By Jake Misener
Chicago Cubs need more than Ohtani in the rotation
Of course, Ohtani represents a two-way player expected to play a big role in any team’s starting rotation. But he alone is not enough to fix the Cubs’ starting rotation. One name we’ve heard time and time again? Alex Cobb.
The right-hander is familiar with new pitching coach Jim Hickey and manager Joe Maddon from his time in Tampa Bay. The Rays tendered him a qualifying offer, so he’s tied to a draft pick – and is probably one of the most sought-after arms on the market this winter.
Below guys like Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta, Cobb headlines the ‘next-level’ group of arms that includes Lance Lynn, Andrew Cashner and Tyler Chatwood, among others. Of course, the Cubs inked Chatwood to a three-year deal this afternoon. This likely means Ohtani would preclude Chicago from making another big starter addition. Coming off a 3.66 ERA 2017 campaign, the right-hander could slot in perfectly behind the Cubs’ trio of Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester and Jose Quintana.
Even if Chicago gets Ohtani, Cobb would still make a whole lot of sense. That rounds out the rotation and allows the team to let Mike Montgomery continue in his swing role to open the 2018 season.
If you’ve been under a rock these last two months, this winter will come down to one thing for Theo Epstein: pitching. It starts with the rotation.