Chicago Cubs: Four cost-effective starting pitchers to consider

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Alec Mills / Chicago Cubs

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

In dire need of starting pitching, these arms could make sense for the Cubs.

As currently constructed, the Chicago Cubs starting rotation is a bit messy. Kyle Hendricks will almost certainly be taking the mound for the team on Opening Day, but who is going to follow him?

Tyler Chatwood, Jose Quintana and Jon Lester all played roles in the rotation last year and have left via free agency, while the ace of the staff, Yu Darvish, was traded, leaving a gaping hole atop the rotation. While three spots in the rotation are likely set with Zach Davies and Alec Mills penciled in along with Hendricks, there are still two spots up for grabs. The fourth spot seems like Adbert Alzolay’s to lose, but it’s not set in stone, and the starting options seem limited at best after that.

The options for the fifth spot in the starting rotation are pretty weak at the moment. The likely in-house candidates are veteran Shelby Miller, Gray Fenter, a Rule 5 pick who has never pitched above A ball, or one of Tyson Miller or Brailyn Marquez, each of whom need more time in the minors.

The rotation is ghastly thin and their starter depth, as a whole, needs improvement. Given  the front office’s current objective seem to be keeping costs down, who are some starters that could be affordable, but helpful improvements to the starting rotation?

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