Chicago Cubs: Five bold predictions for 2020 and beyond

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
2 of 6
Chicago Cubs
Adbert Alzolay, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Darvish and Hendricks and… three youngsters

The Cubs will have a veteran rotation heading into 2020 that could very well be excellent. If the arms can stay healthy and pitch to career norms, the first four in the rotation should provide a rock-solid foundation for the club this season. If one or two of Yu Darvish, Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester, and Jose Quintana can be better than their career norms, that sets up the club for an extremely successful season.

Granted, the fifth spot in the rotation is still in limbo, as Tyler Chatwood, Adbert Alzolay, and Alec Mills all have legitimate cases to make here in the early spring. Again, that combination should be able to hold down that last spot in some way, at least until the trade deadline in July.

After 2020, however, is a different story. Only Darvish and Hendricks are signed past this season, and in all likelihood, those are the only two who will remain in 2021. No need to panic just yet, though, as Alzolay, Mills, and uber-talented southpaw minor-league prospect Brailyn Marquez could very well make up the rest of the rotation as early as next year.

If you only like two of the three, you’re probably also in good shape. After resetting the tax hit in 2020 (which it seems the Cubs are going to try and do this season), it’s incredibly likely they would target a young and controllable arm either in a trade or free agency next offseason.

The bottom line is that even though only 40% of the rotation is finalized for next year as of this moment, there is help coming, some of which you’ll also be able to see in Chicago this season.