Chicago Cubs: Does this team really need another arm?
You never know. Hard-throwing right-hander Gerrit Cole has found another level with the Houston Astros, as most of their pitchers do. In 2018, he broke 200 innings for the third time in four years, while pitching to a sterling 2.70 FIP, 1.033 WHIP and league-best 12.3 strikeouts per nine.
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Prior to that, he was still pretty darn good as a Pirate. Back in 2015, he actually finished fourth in NL Cy Young voting – in a season that ultimately ended with Jake Arrieta blanking Cole’s Pirates in the Wild Card game at PNC Park. He is familiar with the Central and, with the Cubs’ rotation aging, Cole could be a breath of fresh air still being under 30.
Talk about the ideal Theo Epstein pick up. A guy that has nasty stuff, pitches to contact, but just hasn’t quite been able to put it all together.
The 2016 AL Cy Young Award winner is still in his prime, and depending on how his 2019 goes, could come at a premium price. His career 4.28 ERA with a 4.02 FIP doesn’t exactly jump off the page, but he only averages two walks per nine. A strike thrower is just what the Cubs need, and his durability can’t go unnoticed. He exceeded 200 innings three times and has averaged 191 frames annually since 2011.
For personal reasons, seeing him go to the Dodgers would be so awesome just to add fuel to that already heated rivalry. This is probably the guy you can set the bar the lowest for. This front office has repeatedly preached they want to know a guy’s demeanor and impact on the clubhouse.
In my estimation, Bumgarner is not a very well liked person in the game, but he is still an impact pitcher, and the Cubs are trying to win a second World Series. Why not make a run at perhaps the best postseason pitcher in baseball?
Long story short, next year’s crop of free agents is just as good as this year’s, maybe even better overall from top to bottom. If the Cubs do decide to make a run at any of the aforementioned guys, they have proven that they get who they want. Next year should be no different.