Chicago Cubs Rumors: 3 under the radar FAs to target

Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs / Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/GettyImages
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Mike Clevinger, Ruben Niebla
Championship Series - San Diego Padres v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four / Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/GettyImages

3 under the radar FAs for the Cubs to target: No. 1 Mike Clevinger

Gone from the Cubs' projected starting rotation in 2023 are veterans Drew Smyly and Wade Miley as both became free agents this offseason. The Cubs are interested in re-signing Smyly this offseason but on paper, the Cubs' starting rotation for 2023 includes Marcus Stroman, Justin Steele, and Kyle Hendricks. It remains to be seen whether or not the Cubs want Hayden Wesneski to start the 2023 season at the Major League level but his 2.18 ERA in 6 appearances (4 starts) at the Major League level with the team at the end of the season would seem to indicate that he should remain. At the bare minimum, the Cubs have to add at least one starting pitcher to their rotation this offseason and it needs to be a top-of-the-rotation pitcher.

The Cubs are not shopping at the top of the free agent starting pitcher list as the team is not believed to be in play for the likes of Carlos Rodon, Justin Verlander, or Jacob deGrom. The Cubs are shopping at the tier below those free agents and Kodai Senga appears to be the name they have circled. If the Cubs are unable to sign Senga, one name to pivot to should be Mike Clevinger.

Next. The Twins have submitted multiple offers to Carlos Correa . dark

After proving to be a top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher for the Cleveland Guardians in the four years prior to 2022, Clevinger struggled with the Padres last season. Clevinger posted a 4.33 ERA (4.98 FIP) in a tick over 114 innings pitched with the Padres in 2022. Even more concerning is the 5.46 ERA that Clevinger had in away games last season. Reuniting with Cubs' general manager Carter Hawkins and benefiting from the team's pitching infrastructure may restore Clevinger's value as a top-end starting pitcher in Major League Baseball.