With the offseason drawing closer and the Chicago Cubs seemingly poised to be spenders, there are plenty of upgrades Jed Hoyer will be making in the coming months. One of the main areas that will be addressed is the starting rotation. There are very few spots set for 2022, and Hoyer admitted to the fact that the rotation has to be addressed this winter.
While many will be hoping for a top-of-the-line starter like Marcus Stroman or Max Scherzer, the Cubs also need to make sure the rest of the rotation is filled out as well rather than just putting all their resources into one shiny new toy. The team should be looking at the second tier of free-agent starters as well as the top tier and looking for an intriguing deal. Perhaps, it could come in the form of Jon Gray or Michael Wacha, or perhaps Anthony DeSclafani could be the solution.
DeSclafani is someone that should be familiar to most Cubs fans after spending five seasons with the Chicago’s NL Central foe Cincinnati Reds. He pitched to a solid 4.19 ERA in his time with Cincinnati, but cranked things up in a big way in his first season by the Bay.
The right-hander was a big part of the San Francisco Giants’ surprise 107-win season, sporting a career-low 3.17 ERA and 7.6 H/9. He also had a very solid 8.2 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and 1.0 HR/9. All of this resulted in a 3.0 fWAR season, and his highest innings count since 2015, working 167 2/3 innings over 31 starts.
With all of this considered, DeSclafani could be a highly sought-after pitcher this offseason, and the Cubs should be one of his most aggressive bidders assuming the price isn’t outrageous. DeSclafani is the perfect high-end three starter the Cubs could use, especially considering the number of question marks still currently surrounding the rotation.
Chicago Cubs: Anthony DeSclafani fits into where the team will shop
There are some red flags that should deter the Cubs from breaking the bank for DeSclafani. For one, the veteran is already 31 years old, so a long-term deal, especially for someone who has been up and down most of their career, probably isn’t a wise move. DeSclafani also had a FIP of 3.62 and an xFIP of 3.96, indicating that there was at least some luck involved in his breakout season.
Still, DeSclafani has always been a solid mid-rotation pitcher and would slot in well to the two or three spots in the Cubs’ rotation. His expected stats shouldn’t be enough to completely scare the Chicago front office off of him.
DeSclafani isn’t a star and shouldn’t be the biggest splash the Cubs make in free agency, or even in the rotation, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s a very solid pitcher that fits the mold of what the team would want in a free agent.
He has a good strikeout rate, won’t break the bank, and has the ability to give the team 150+ innings a year. If the Cubs want to be competitive next year, this is a move that can bolster the rotation and give them a proven commodity rather than the multitude of question marks we saw trotted out this season.