Cubs need an ace; Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and more will be available

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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Max Scherzer / Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Cubs: Max Scherzer has done it all during his illustrious big league career

Like Verlander, Max Scherzer isn’t a young buck by any standard. The right-hander turns 37 this summer, but has shown no signs of slowing down on the mound.

Already this year, he’s tossed a complete game and carries a 0.777 WHIP and 2.33 ERA in seven starts. In seven years with Washington, he’s been nothing short of a horse, making 177 starts to the tune of a 2.78 ERA/2.87 FIP, earning five All-Star appearances, a pair of Cy Young Awards and a World Series ring back in 2019.

He’ll hit free agency this winter and it remains to be seen if the Nationals will bring him back into the fold moving forward. If he winds up on the open market, the Cubs have to at least check in on him given his resume.

I know these guys are on the tail ends of their careers, but if Chicago wants to bridge the gap for a year or two until guys like Brailyn Marquez are ready to take the mantle, you could do a lot worse than a Scherzer or Verlander.

Scherzer still gets a ton of swings and misses, evidenced by his impressive whiff rate and strikeout percentage, and he’s still capable of running up the fastball into the mid-90s when the situation calls for it. A short-term deal to place him atop the Cubs rotation would be an absolute game-changer.