It has been a very fruitful endeavor for Jed Hoyer in his first full offseason as the Cubs president of baseball operations. The winter began when the Cubs shockingly added Wade Miley off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds, which immediately added a 3.0 fWAR pitcher to a staff that desperately needed help.
Then the Cubs made their biggest free agency splash in years, signing the always electric Marcus Stroman to a three-year, $71 million deal, bringing a bonafide, top-end starter into the fold. Perhaps just as importantly, Hoyer made good on his promise that the Cubs would be willing to spend this winter, and that their focus would be on the rotation.
There’s a clear improvement at the top of the staff, with Stroman, Hendricks and Miley penciled in at the top, but there’s still work to be done at the bottom of the rotation. While Adbert Alzolay and Alec Mills may be the presumptive frontrunners, for now, Chicago has multiple options for those two final spots on the staff.
While you’d be forgiven for not having any interest in tuning into the Cubs after the trade deadline this past season, it was an absolutely crucial period for the team to assess what they had going into 2022, with the rotation, in particular, being a big point of focus. The team had Alzolay, Mills, Justin Steele and Keegan Thompson start games down the stretch and it would make sense for all four to be in consideration come spring.
Throw in the fact the Cubs are likely done with spending on the rotation, the safe bet will be on two of these four opening the year in the rotation.