The Chicago Cubs are seeking upgrades to their starting rotation and Jon Heyman joined MLB Network on Wednesday and mentioned the Cubs were among the teams looking to add two starting pitchers this winter.
That logic checks out. The Cubs were likely going to be seeking an upgrade at the top of their starting rotation regardless of what Marcus Stroman decided to do with his $21MM player option for 2024 but Stroman opting out does create a need for another depth arm.
For their need at the top of the rotation, it would seem unlikely that the Cubs will target the top available free-agent starting pitchers. A trade for Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow continues to make a ton of sense for the Cubs.
In terms of a depth arm, a name that we mentioned over the weekend, Cal Quantrill, was designated for assignment by the Cleveland Guardians on Tuesday.
Update on Craig Counsell's coaching staff with the Chicago Cubs
Pat Murphy was officially introduced as the Milwaukee Brewers' manager on Wednesday and with that came the news that the entire Brewers' coaching staff was being retained.
When Craig Counsell was introduced as the Cubs' manager on Monday, he told reporters that he hadn't fully begun planning out his coaching staff. One scenario to keep an eye on is the Cubs promoting current pitching coach Tommy Hottovy to the front office in place of the departed Craig Breslow. Such a scenario would allow for Counsell to have his own pitching coach while Hottovy remains in the organization.
One national insider does think Cody Bellinger returns to the Chicago Cubs
USA Today MLB insider Bob Nightengale was the latest insider to suggest the Cubs may have other priorities than bringing Cody Bellinger back. Nightengale does not envision Bellinger returning to the Cubs as they may look to improve other areas of their roster.
For the Cubs, it's not that they shouldn't bring Bellinger back as much as it is they must see their pursuit of Shohei Ohtani or Juan Soto through before pivoting back to the 2023 National League Comeback Player of the Year.