Cubs are thinking about spending after earlier salary dump moves

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Well, well, well. If I didn’t know any better, I’d be polishing up my tin foil hat to get to the bottom of a juicy conspiracy surrounding the Chicago Cubs’ fiscal situation. The investigation would start at the beginning of the offseason I suppose…

The Cubs were in such bad financial straits in December that they felt the need to dump Kyle Schwarber’s roughly eight million dollar arbitration contract, trade away NL Cy Young runner-up Yu Darvish for a handful of possibly magic or placebo beans and fail to extend even a lowball offer to Jon Lester.

Fast forward a little over a month and now it appears the Cubs didn’t really have to do any of that, as they’ve signed former Dodger outfielder Joc Pederson and are now supposedly interested in adding more to the payroll. Even more importantly, it seems the Cubs are no longer actively shopping any of the previously tradeable blue light specials like Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras or Javier Baez.

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So, nothing to see here and pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. It’s 2021, real live baseball is less than a month away, real live fans will be allowed to come to Sloan Park and the Cubs might actually be looking to add payroll and players to a team that could still conceivably challenge for the NL Central crown. Just don’t think about that too much or you might get angsty or downright ornery given what we let go in December.

With money now available to spend, the Cubs could and should be looking to add another starting pitcher to their ranks. Problem is, many of the guys who may have been fits have been gobbled up by other teams over the last week or two. Sort of (in)convenient, you might say.

Taijuan Walker, Jake Odorizzi, Rick Porcello, James Paxton, and old pal Jake Arrieta are still out there, but are the Cubs really going to spend the money necessary to win a bidding war if it comes to that for a mid-rotation piece? Judging by the earlier part of the winter, the answer is no. Judging by the recent comments that they’re looking to add and win, well…. maybe?

Maybe they get even more creative and go after former Cub southpaws Rich Hill or Cole Hamels, who shouldn’t be overly expensive at this point in their careers. Of course, they also could be huge risks given their ages and injury histories the last few years.

What should the Cubs do staring at a rotation that looks like Kyle Hendricks, Zach Davies, Adbert Alzolay, Alec Mills, Trevor Williams  and maybe Shelby Miller? If it were me, I’d be looking for a guy who looks a little different than some of the pieces already there, and maybe go after someone who throws fairly hard. Someone like, ohhh sorta like Yu Darvish. Ugh.

Next. Lester would have played for peanuts. dark

Granted, those hard-throwing guys are few and far between in general for a salary the Cubs could afford, and even rarer still given this late point in the offseason. Maybe Justin Steele pushes for a spot in Spring Training, or maybe phenom prospect Brailyn Marquez might get a chance at some point in the summer after some innings in Double or Triple-A.

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