Chicago Cubs: Could this guy rebound in 2021?
While this isn’t the Jake most Cubs fans would pine for, Jake Odorizzi is a guy who has been on the Cubs radar before, with much buzz accompanying the last time Odorizzi was a free agent in 2017. The Cubs went a different way, signing Darvish and Tyler Chatwood that offseason, but there could be interest in Odorizzi after a few years in Minnesota. There could be even more interest in the market for his services doesn’t appear the way Odorizzi wants, prompting the Cubs to take a gamble on him at a reduced rate or smaller number of years.
Odorizzi dealt with several injuries this past season on his way to a terrible 2020 campaign that saw him make just four starts in the shortened season. He was on the postseason roster for the Twins, but he just didn’t have a good showing in the final year of his contract. After a rough year and the prospect of a lean offseason, the 30 year old may not garner as much attention or hype as he did three years ago. This could set the stage for a pairing with the thrifty Cubs.
If Odorizzi can replicate what he did in 2019, when he went 15-7 with a 3.91 ERA, the Cubs could be looking at a bargain on a one or two year deal. With the uncertainty of that CBA ending after next season, there could be even more incentive for a guy like Odorizzi to take a chance on himself with a one year deal before possibly making one more run at free agency. Regardless, the right-hander is someone the Cubs could use on their roster in 2021 if he’s healthy, and, as always lately, if the price is right.
While it’s not likely any of these guys will find their name penciled into the starting rotation come next April, there’s a scenario where any of them or possibly others could find themselves in that exact role. We’ll just have to see how this offseason plays out both with money, trades, and of course, this pandemic.