Building the best Chicago Cubs starting rotation by WAR

Houston Astros v Chicago Cubs
Houston Astros v Chicago Cubs / Brian Kersey/GettyImages
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Over the years, the Cubs have had had plenty of several prominent pitchers put on the blue pinstripes and play in front of the one of a kind Wrigley Field. Although many of the Cubs' Hall of Famers and retired numbers are position players, a handful of legendary pitchers have graced the Friendly Confines in recent memory. With Wins Above Replacement as the main factor, here are five men that have put on a Cubs uniform in since 1950 that would comprise the best starting rotation taking into account their contributions to the Cubs as a pitcher specifically.

1. Carlos Zambrano 37.7 WAR with the Cubs

This list is in no particular order since all of the men on it would slot into the 1st or second starting pitcher role on any given rotation. However, Carlos Zambrano is the most recent hurler on this list and he remains arguably the best pitcher the Cubs have had in the 21st century given his 10+ year tenure and 43.2 WAR with the team. Big Z's 1532 strikeouts in a Cubs uniform ranks second all-time in franchise history and he made 30 starts for the team in six straight seasons from 2003-2008. Perhaps the only thing that really held Zambrano back was himself as he was infamous for flying off the handle and yelling at everyone including umpires, teammates, and opposing players.

These anger issues led to a steep decline in Zambrano's production as a pitcher as he became ineffective by the age of 30. If he had invested some time into meditation or yoga, maybe Zambrano could have had a longer career and been one of the all-time greats. Alas, he retired in 2014 at the age of 33 with 3 all-star appearances, 3 silver sluggers, and a career ERA of 3.66.