The Chicago Cubs are in need of a top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher this offseason and that would be the reason why the Cubs' rumored interest in starting pitchers this offseason has been confusing. With the exception of Japanese starting pitcher Kodai Senga, the Cubs have been linked to starting pitchers such as Tyler Anderson or veteran Corey Kluber and those are two types that would represent an upgrade to the starting rotation but not the move the needle in the sense of giving the team a starting pitcher that is viewed as a true ace.
The Cubs have seemingly shied away from the top of the list of available free agent starting pitchers this offseason as the team has not been mentioned in association with the markets of Jacob deGrom, Carlos Rodon, or Justin Verlander.
That is, until now.
While providing an update on deGrom's chances of returning to the New York Mets next season, New York Post reporter MIke Puma listed the Cubs among teams that could be in play for deGrom.
"The Rangers, Dodgers, Cubs and Yankees are among the other teams that could be in play for deGrom, whose previous deal called for him to receive $32.5 million next season. "- New York Post
Considering the qualifier that Puma used when talking about the teams that may be in play for deGrom, it likely is a case where a reporter is listing the usual suspects when talking about a top-tier free agent. The Texas Rangers, after hiring Bruce Bochy as their new manager, have pushed their chips to the middle of the table and are expected to follow up their 2021 spending spree with more spending this offseason. The Dodgers and Yankees are, well, the Dodgers and Yankees so no further justification is needed. The Cubs, despite recent spending, are still viewed as a big-market team and with the expectation of spending this offseason, they are an easy team to speculate on regarding interest in deGrom.
Outside of speculating on the teams, the article does a tremendous job of explaining deGrom's asking price this offseason. DeGrom is not seeking a long-term deal but rather a short-term deal that will feature a high AAV each season. In other words, the type of deal that Cubs' president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer prefers making when acquiring starting pitching. If the money is the same, deGrom likely stays with the Mets but there is no reason for the Cubs to not be involved in his market.