Chicago Cubs: Even an injured Rich Hill could be considered an option

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Hill has been a steadying presence in Los Angeles

In three-plus years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Rich Hill emerged as one of the most consistent starters in the National League. He was never a workhorse, failing to hit the 140-inning mark even once during that time.

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But when he did toe the rubber, he worked to a 3.16 ERA and 10.6 K/9 – slotting in nicely behind the likes of Clayton Kershaw and, later, Walker Buehler, atop the Dodgers starting rotation. Despite his age (he’ll turn 40 in March), Hill was expected to draw wide interest in free agency this winter, including Los Angeles.

He makes more sense for a team like the Dodgers than one like Chicago for obvious reasons. L.A. boasts a bevy of options to fill out their starting rotation, which makes bridging the gap from late March to June a much more palatable concept. Meanwhile, the Cubs lack a true fifth starter – at least one that you’d feel good about.

Knowing he won’t return till late in the first half, Hill may be a risk the team can’t afford to take this offseason. Epstein and owner Tom Ricketts have voiced a desire to make the Cubs perennial contenders, rather than with talking about competitive windows. Adding a soon-to-be 40-year-old doesn’t exactly fall neatly into such a classification.