The Texas Rangers defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 5 of the World Series on Wednesday night to secure the first World Series title in franchise history and the victory marks the start of the off-season for the Chicago Cubs and the rest of Major League Baseball.
The first order of business for the Cubs will be the respective options for starting pitchers Kyle Hendricks and Marcus Stroman. Within the next five days, the Cubs will need to determine whether or not to pick Hendricks' $16.5MM option for the 2024 season while Stroman will need to decide whether or not to exercise his $21MM option for the 2024 season.
In the case of Hendricks, there has been some confusion around the idea of the Cubs wanting to work out an extension with the starting pitcher. The only reason for a hypothetical extension between the Cubs and Hendricks would be to lower the $16.5MM hit for the 2024 season and defer some money to future years. There likely is not a scenario where the Cubs exercise the $16.5MM option for Hendricks next season then sign him to a long-term extension.
The case for Stroman is a little more straightforward. Stroman was well on his way to opting out of his deal with the Cubs and being placed at the top of the list of free-agent starting pitchers with his performance during the first half of the season. Injuries led Stroman to struggle considerably during the second half of the season and that has made it all but likely that Stroman will opt into the final year of his deal with the Cubs.
Regardless of the decisions on Hendricks and Stroman, it would seem likely that the Cubs will look to add at least one starting pitcher this off-season. The Cubs need stability at the top of their rotation and a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays for Tyler Glasnow could be on the table.