Cubs News: A potential free agent target, Wesneski plan, and more

Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres - Game Three
Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres - Game Three / Harry How/GettyImages

On Sunday, the Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball saw movement on the free-agent market as the Chicago White Sox signed free-agent starting pitcher Mike Clevinger to a one-year deal worth more than $8MM. Admittedly, we initially had Clevinger on a list of three potential under-the-radar signings that the Cubs could make this offseason but after diving further into his peripherals after his second Tommy John surgery, there are better options for the team to target in terms of a starting pitcher that is viewed as a reclamation project.

Los Angeles Dodgers free agent starting pitcher Andrew Heaney is a name that comes to mind. The Athletic reported last week that the Cubs had an interest in Heaney last offseason before he signed a one-year deal with the Dodgers. Injuries limited Heaney to only 16 appearances (14 starts) with the Dodgers last season but he showed flashes of being a very effective starting pitcher when healthy. Heaney posted a 3.10 ERA (2.83 xFIP) with the Dodgers last season while averaging 13.6 strikeouts per 9 innings.

Given Heaney's track record with injuries, he should not be signed by a team with the goal of him being their top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher. But, for a team that has pitching depth to withstand a potential injury, Heaney could easily slot into the middle of a starting rotation. That would be where the Cubs come into play.

More Cubs News

Speaking of pitching depth, it will be interesting to see what the Cubs decide to do with Hayden Wesneski at the start of the 2023 season. Wesneski thrived with the Cubs at the end of the 2022 season in his first stint at the Major League level. Wesneski posted a 2.18 ERA (3.64 xFIP) in 6 appearances (4 starts) with the Cubs during the final two months of the season. Regardless of any signing the Cubs make this offseason to bolster their starting rotation, Wesneski certainly should be afforded the opportunity to make the rotation out of Spring Training.

MLB News

Going back to the Clevinger signing with the White Sox, it will be curious to see if the signing triggers some movement for Major League Baseball for pitchers within the same tier. Pitchers in a situation like Clevinger's typically wait for the top of the market to set before signing but perhaps he wanted certainty right away. The Major League Baseball winter meetings begin one week from today.