Chicago Cubs: How much work will be put into the rotation?

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs are going to work hard this offseason, but how much will they focus on the starting rotation? Probably not very much, given their options.

For the past several offseasons, starting pitching ranked high on the list of things to address for the next season. Outside of the pre-2017 offseason, the Chicago Cubs have made notable moves to add to the rotation going back to 2014 when they added Jon Lester. What about this time around?

While anything can happen, it seems unlikely the Cubs focus much on the rotation this offseason. The biggest/only move relating to the starters could be bringing back Cole Hamels, either via the option on his deal or a new multi-year contract. He is the only major rotation piece from last year who could be on the open market (again, dependent on the Cubs’ decision on aforementioned option).

Most of the rotation is set

Looking at 2019 right now, the Cubs have most of the rotation set in place. With Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana and Yu Darvish lined up, a re-signing of Hamels could be the finishing touch on the Opening Day rotation.

More from Cubbies Crib

The team also boasts depth beyond that in Mike Montgomery and Drew Smyly. These guys could could step in if there is an injury to any of the arms above. Worth noting, they have Tyler Chatwood, though, starting the season in the rotation seems pretty unlikely – barring a dramatic transformation of sorts.

One may ask if the Cubs would want to stick with this rotation or make some trades. There’s no way they get rid of Lester or Hendricks. Darvish is not being moved with that big contract after a year of being injured, like it or not he is here to stay.

Quintana being traded in the offseason also would not seem likely at all. Finding equal or more value for him right now would not seem possible, unless he was included in a package. Still hard to imagine Theo trading him after 1 1/2 seasons after giving up what they gave up to get him.

Now what if the Hamels is not given the qualifying offer and he ends up walking? Then there would probably be some sort of move. Even with the depth the Cubs will want to get someone more proven in the rotation.

Next. Cubs' biggest need? A dominant left-handed reliever. dark

A free agent signing or a trade could be in play in that scenario, but if they work and successfully re-up Hamels, do not expect anything or anything overly significant. There’s simply no need for another starter-related move with this group in-tow.