Given that the calendar is about to flip to January, it will become more imperative for the Chicago Cubs to land some marquee names this winter. It's unexpected that Cubs will spend at will at this juncture, and I wouldn't expect them to do much more than potentially go past the first luxury tax tier. To field a competitive team in 2024, the Cubs must land somebody who can be productive on a shorter, cheaper deal. Here are three players we can identify who are good buy-low candidates looking to bounce back and provide a spark for their team next season.
3 buy-low candidates - 3. Lucas Giolito
Lucas Giolito is a pitcher who appeared awful the last couple of seasons, but there's more under the hood to look at than what initially meets the eye. In the previous two seasons, he's recorded a 4.89 ERA, but here's the thing: In 2022, his 4.90 ERA was met with a 4.07 FIP, which suggests he was very much the victim of some spotty defense and bad luck from the Chicago White Sox. In 2023, he was solid in the first half with a 3.45 ERA but dreadful with a 7.13 in the second half.
Given that Giolito averaged a 3.47 ERA from 2019-2021, had bad luck in 2022, and was solid in the first half in 2023, it's fair to see that things aren't as bad as they immediately appear. Given the Cubs' pitching infrastructure and the way they have been able to help guys figure things out in recent years, Giolito may be a perfect buy-low candidate on a one-year contract.