Chicago Cubs: Expect plenty of competition for roles this spring

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Spot still open at the back of the rotation

Look, if you’re not going to spend money to address the needs of this club, then the solution for the final spot in the rotation becomes pretty clear: let the young guns duke it out for the role.

Of course, veteran southpaw Cole Hamels departed via free agency after a largely brilliant run with the Cubs. Especially in 2018, he brought a degree of dominance that many around the game believed he’d lost – but that clearly wasn’t the case. Whoever takes over his spot in the staff in 2020 will likely be unproven and far from a sure thing.

Adbert Alzolay will likely get a a look – but he won’t be the only one. Tyler Chatwood, who bounced back after a disastrous first year on the North Side, could be in the mix. That being said, this marks the final year of his three-year contract, so while he might fill the void in 2020, he’s not a long-term solution.

The team brought in Jharel Cotton on a minor league deal. The right-hander could have an outside shot at cracking the rotation, as well. Alec Mills, who pitched well last year, stands out as another likely candidate to have a real shot heading into camp. And let’s not forget Duane Underwood Jr., either.

Whoever loses out on the job, though, will likely have a chance to prove himself out of the pen – a glaring area of need for the Cubs that has also gone completely unaddressed so far this offseason.