Chicago Cubs: Is Theo ready to pound on free agents and the trade market?
In case you haven’t heard yet, this year’s free agent class is one of the most talented in recent memory. The headliners are position players but there are a lot of starting pitchers who will be or potentially could be free agents too.
Dallas Keuchel, Gio Gonzalez and Nathan Eovaldi are all free agents. Since Gonzalez and Eovaldi were traded this season they won’t have draft pick compensation attached. That’s obviously huge for a team like the Cubs looking to reload their prospect pool while remaining competitive.
Clayton Kershaw and David Price can opt out of their contracts and become free agents. Kershaw may opt out and then just sign a bigger contract with the Dodgers. It might be risky for Price to opt out after yet more postseason woes.
Chris Sale and Madison Bumgarner both have team options for next season. I doubt either one of them become free agents. However, their recent injuries do at least make it a slight possibility. But if that is the reason they become free agents, do the Cubs want to take a chance on another pitcher with a history of recent injuries?
There’s also the possibility of the Cubs trading for a starting pitcher. In 2017 the front office was finally able to trade for a young cost-controlled starting pitcher in Quintana. I don’t know if they will be able to do again. But if Epstein is serious about trading from the Major League roster, it’s possible.
Sale, Quintana, Gerrit Cole, Sonny Gray and Chris Archer have all been traded in the last couple of years. Other than the Mets’ pair of Jacob deGromm and Noah Syndergaard, I’m not sure who the Cubs would want to target.
No matter who ends up joining the Cubs rotation its looking like its going to be a very expensive spot. The Cubs have already invested in Chatwood, Smyly and Montgomery’s contracts in that spot and may well invest another $20 million in Hamels’ option or a free agent.