Chicago Cubs: Did the team need to go get an ace?
First of all, the Cubs may have very quietly added an ace-level arm. Cole Hamels might be this year’s Justin Verlander. A veteran pitcher who was once the ace of a pitching staff, who had struggled of late. Then, a midseason trade reinvigorates him as he’s suddenly thrown into a competitive battle. Hamels has already spoken about the emotional atmosphere he has already experienced since joining the Cubs and how much he has wanted to be a Cub.
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Secondly, there really wasn’t other aces out there to trade for. J.A. Happ, Nathan Eovaldi and Kevin Gausman aren’t sure-fire aces either. They don’t bring the kind of previous playoff experience and success that Hamels brings.
What about Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard? I would love it if the Cubs could have acquired either one of these guys. But no one is sure that the Mets were really willing to trade either one of their ace pitchers. And the price tag would have been gigantic. It would hurt to lose Addison Russell, Ian Happ, Albert Almora and/or Kyle Schwarber. Because it was going to cost either two of those guys or perhaps one of them and gutting what’s left of the farm system.
And it isn’t as if Yu Darvish is a lost cause, either (despite what you may think). It looks as if Darvish is due back around the beginning of September. I know that his first year as a Cub has been bumpy. But adding Darvish with a month before the playoffs begin will be like adding an ace to the starting rotation.