Cubs, Padres make a lot of sense – at least on paper
Theo Epstein (and, to be fair, Jed Hoyer) kept putting their eggs in the same basket: running it back with the same group of guys, making marginal changes to the roster from year-to-year. We all know how that panned out, so it’s nice to see the team at least seriously considering some sweeping changes this offseason.
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Make no mistake. Losing Darvish would be a clear sign the Cubs are taking a step back from contention in 2021. Without him in the fold, Chicago would head into camp with just one proven commodity in the rotation: Kyle Hendricks. You’ve got guys like Alec Mills and Adbert Alzolay in the mix, but, like I said – Hendricks is your only ‘sure’ thing.
Looking at the Padres, it makes a ton of sense why they’re checking in on Darvish. They desperately need starting pitching if they’re going to contend with the Dodgers in the NL West. AJ Preller thought he checked that box when he traded for Mike Clevinger last year, but the former Indians right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery and will miss the 2021 campaign.
When we’re talking about a return in a Darvish trade, really there are a lot of question marks. Can San Diego absorb the three years and $65 million left on his contract? Does he have the Friars on his undisclosed 12-team no-trade list? Which prospects would the team be willing to part with in a trade?