Chicago Cubs: Five remaining free agents team could still sign

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
2 of 6
Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Alex Wood

It’s hard to say whether the Chicago Cubs will be looking to make any additions to their starting rotation for the upcoming season. They already have four slots locked in with Jon Lester, Yu Darvish, Kyle Hendricks, and Jose Quintana. For the fifth spot, Tyler Chatwood, Alec Mills, and Adbert Alzolay are among the internal names who could get a look.

Yet if the Cubs decide to go outside the organization for depth, most of the big names are off the board, including Gerrit Cole, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Madison Bumgarner, and Dallas Keuchel. One intriguing name that still remains is southpaw Alex Wood. The soon-to-be 29-year-old came over to the Cincinnati Reds in an offseason trade a year ago, but due to injury he was only able to make seven starts. When he did pitch, he allowed 23 earned runs in 35 2/3 innings.

That doesn’t sound too inspiring, but Wood was quietly a solid starter for several years prior to 2019. In 136 career starts, he sports a 3.40 ERA (which is actually lower than that of Kyle Hendricks), and he’s just two years removed from a season in which he was an All-Star, finished ninth in National League Cy Young Award voting, and led the league in winning percentage.

Perhaps Wood would be willing to sign an incentive-laden one-year deal to try to reestablish his value. If so, he could provide some needed rotation depth for the Cubs. They’d be hoping both that he’s fully recovered from his back injury and that 2019 was an anomaly.