3 starting pitchers the Chicago Cubs should target in 2024

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Julio Urias
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3 starting pitchers the Chicago Cubs should target: Julio Urias

This Dodgers ace is a more realistic option for the Cubs. Although injuries plagued Julio Urias earlier in his career, he has turned in back-to-back seasons of at least 31 starts and an ERA below 3. He whiffs a lot of hitters (166 in 2023) and pounds the strike zone with a mid-90s fastball complemented by a sweeping curveball.

The main plus side to Urias is that he will be just 27 years old when he reaches free agency next winter. Players are typically closer to 30 when they get to test the market, but Urias was just 19 when he made his Major League debut in 2016, which started his service time clock earlier than most. This lefty would slot in well at the top of the Cubs rotation. In addition to collecting a good amount of strikeouts per year, his groundball percentage floats around the league average, which would play well for the newly minted elite defense the Cubs will field for years to come.

Aaron Nola
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3 starting pitchers the Chicago Cubs should target: Aaron Nola

To me, Aaron Nola is the most realistic and viable option for the Cubs. The Phillies ace will be 30 years old when he reaches free agency after the 2023 season, and I would be totally fine with the Cubs giving him a six or seven-year deal similar to what Carlos Rodon got this offseason. Not only is Nola a proven top-of-the-line starting pitcher, but he is also coming off helping lead his team to the World Series.

Next. Pete Crow-Armstrong considered among top OF prospects. dark

Since breaking into the bigs in 2015, Nola has turned in 3 different seasons where he tossed 200+ innings. After a shaky 2021, Nola turned everything around in 2022 where he led all starting pitchers in WAR while striking out 235 with a 3.25 ERA. After taking all of this into account, it is unbelievable that the Phillies have not even floated the idea of a contract extension to their homegrown ace. Putting this man at Wrigley Field would be reminiscent of the Jon Lester signing in 2015, and turn what is currently an above-average pitching staff into a playoff contender.