Chicago Cubs: Starting rotation is primed for a strong year

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

No. 1 – Jon Lester

For Jon Lester, he deserves to be the No. 1 guy. I know Maddon has spoken to the situation of who they are facing early on. But his signing in 2015 was the turning point for the franchise. From there, the Cubs have continued to rise, winning the division the last two seasons.

Last year wasn’t the best of years for Lester. But if it showed anything, he’ll grind to get outs. After winning 19 games in 2016, he fell to just 13 wins. And he saw his ERA jump to a 4.33–almost two runs more than his 2.44 from the year before.

When the Cubs signed Lester, they knew there would come a time that they would be “bitten” by the deal. But that they would also be content with that because of what they thought he could do for the franchise. After a first year that saw many question his signing, he made them all forget that by helping lead them to their first World Series in 108 years.

Hard not to be a fan of his

As Lester enters year four of his six-year deal, with a vesting option for 2021, it’s hard not to be behind him. He’s broken two curses in Boston and Chicago. He’s beaten cancer, and his NVRQT foundation continues to be a huge contributor to pediatric cancer research.

Next: A look at David Bote's potential

This staff has the potential to do great things this season. The Cubs made it a priority to go out and fill the holes in the staff and bullpen–and they did. The Cubs might not have gotten a closer like Wade Davis, but that was a chunk of change the Cubs weren’t willing to spend on him. He was great for the Cubs last season, but the team will look to fill the void with Brandon Morrow in his place.