Rick Porcello – Boston Red Sox
Rick Porcello is a less flashy option which just quite frankly has been downright bad. He has a career-high 5.42 ERA this year and leads the American League in earned runs given up with 90.
He has a bit of a home run problem, giving up 26 this year and leading the League in 2017 with 38. However, he is a former Cy Young Award winner and has pitched 200+ innings three times and is an innings-eater, despite his shortcomings.
If the Chicago Cubs are looking for a cheaper option and miss out on the first two, Porcello could be an excellent reclamation project, especially since he’s never been in the National League before.
Hyun-Jin Ryu – Los Angeles Dodgers
A bit of an out of the box name with a slim chance of happening, this man leads the entire Major Leagues in ERA at an even 2.00. The problem with Hyun-Jin Ryu is that he’s always been consistently good, but never dominant like this. He has just 19 walks in 152 2/3 innings but has only made 30+ starts one time, his rookie year. The injury bug can’t stay away from him, and the odds are he doesn’t explore the market and re-ups with the Dodgers anyway.
Ryu can be a left-handed version of Kyle Hendricks. He throws a little harder but doesn’t walk hitters and lives on ground balls and weak contact.
This may be moot anyway, because if the Cubs offer Hamels a qualifying offer, there is a good chance he may accept, given his injury this year and the fact he will be 37 in 2020.