Chicago Cubs: Pitching a focus because it will make the difference in Central
By Jake Misener
Chicago Cubs could put things out of reach with Darvish addition
The Chicago Cubs already boast a three-headed monster of Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester and Jose Quintana atop the starting rotation. Factor in the likes of Tyler Chatwood and, potentially, Mike Montgomery at the back end and that’s a solid group.
But on Monday, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer had a 3 1/2 hour meeting with free agent right-hander Yu Darvish in Texas. More notably, the two sides are set to meet again on Tuesday – so we’re clearly past the ‘kicking the tires’ stage of things here. Despite a rocky World Series performance, the right-hander represents the best arm available this offseason.
Darvish owns a career 3.42 ERA across five big-league seasons. He got his first taste of National League action last year after a midseason trade to the Dodgers. The Japanese right-hander dominated in the Division and League Championship Series, only to struggle in the Fall Classic. Of course, he reportedly tipped his pitches, which is fixable and makes me personally feel a lot better about said struggles.
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With Darvish in-tow, the Cubs could feasibly throw out a combination of Hendricks, Darvish, Lester, Quintana in a best-of-five postseason series. This also allows both Chatwood and Montgomery to serve as long-men in the bullpen. On paper, at least, it’s hard to see any of the aforementioned rotations stack up when we’re talking about this potential Cubs staff.