Chicago Cubs: PECOTA Division projections
As stated before, the Cubs are projected to finish just two games north of .500, at 82-80. Much of this could be from the fact Chicago has made no truly significant offseason moves, while three other teams in the Central, in fact, have.
The St. Louis Cardinals made the most significant splash landing All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, and former Cubs World Series for and Cleveland Indian Andrew Miller. The Reds meanwhile have loaded up over the offseason, first acquiring Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, and Alex Wood. Second, they added another former All-Star in Sonny Gray. Lastly, the Milwaukee Brewers agreed with former Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal. All worthy additions.
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs are giving pitcher Javier Assad a deserved shot
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
- Cubs: P.J. Higgins deserves to be in the lineup on a daily basis
Meanwhile, on the North side, the most significant signing thus far for the Cubs has to be Brad Brach. In pressing the need for the bullpen, the team came to terms with Brach on a one-year deal for cheap. Daniel Descalso was the other name who the Cubs signed to a two-year contract. The super utility man will provide veteran leadership.
The second argument against the Cubs favor is the age of their pitching staff. Team ace Jon Lester is entering his age-35 season this year. Cole Hamels is also 35 years old, and while he made 32 starts, there is no telling he can repeat the performance. Meanwhile, the bullpen is stock full of over-30’s. Brandon Morrow and Pedro Strop are both 34. New reliever Brach is 33, and Steve Cishek is 32. Many ‘what-ifs’ of course, however, it is something to keep an eye in this season.