Ranking the top 5 offseason needs for the Cubs: #2 – Frontline starting pitching
The emergence of Justin Steele this season (not to mention Thompson, who we talked about earlier) were two big signs of the Cubs’ longstanding efforts to develop homegrown arms starting to pay dividends. Of late, Hayden Wesneski, acquired in the Scott Effross trade this summer, has also looked sharp – another promising development.
But if you’re looking ahead to 2023, aside from Steele and Marcus Stroman, there’s not much terms of sure things as far as the starting rotation is concerned. Kyle Hendricks, whose year ended early due to injury, is coming off back-to-back lackluster seasons and can no longer be counted upon to be the stabilizer he once was.
Wade Miley and Drew Smyly will both hit free agency at year’s end, although a reunion with the latter can’t be totally ruled out for a variety of reasons. Regardless of which young arms break through and have strong showings in Arizona next spring, this team needs an ace.
The good news for Chicago is there’s a myriad of ways they could address that need, ranging from a trade for someone like Shohei Ohtani to a major free agent signing of someone like Jacob deGrom or Carlos Rodon. There’s even a super-intriguing Japanese arm, Kodei Senga, who’s reportedly looking to come to the big leagues.
Regardless of how they go about do so, adding an ace is a must this offseason.