Chicago Cubs: Three free agent starting pitching options in wake of Quintana injury

Jose Quintana / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Jose Quintana / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: The Clay Buchholz connection

A second option who could be very much considered as a possible free agent fit in the wake of the Quintana injury is Clay Buchholz. As a former teammate to Jon Lester and part of both world champion Boston Red Sox teams, Buchholz has connections to Lester and Theo Epstein.

Buchholz has been relatively inconsistent in his time in the majors. In his first cup of coffee with Boston in 2007, he posted a 1.59 ERA in 22 2/3 innings. He followed his dominant first stint up with a 6.75 ERA in 15 starts. His 2010 and 2013 campaigns were his best, and since then, this guy has been all over the map.

Interestingly, Buchholz is just a full season removed from a strong stint in Arizona. While pitching in the desert, the right-hander posted a staunch 2.01 ERA in 16 starts. Over a seven-start stretch from August of that year to September, Buchholz carried a 1.33 ERA and a 15.0 percent K-BB rate.

Unfortunately for the 11-year veteran, his numbers took a nosedive in Toronto. His ERA, FIP and xFIP all ballooned to unseemly numbers, and Buchholz saw his strikeouts go way down. The argument in favor of Buchholz is his 2018 numbers in the National League. He seemed to carry his weight just fine and, again, similar to the situation with Harvey, assuming the Cubs can get him on a minor league deal, there is minimal risk involved for a potential return.