The Chicago Cubs' rotation looks to be solidified after the addition of Japanese southpaw Shota Imanaga, who will be the fourth highest-paid pitcher on the staff.
With Imanaga the only addition to the rotation and a wealth of young starting pitching depth, the Cubs are saving a lot of money on arms compared to other teams. Big spenders like the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays will all be forking over more than $70 million just to their starting pitchers alone, while the Cubs payroll for their entire pitching staff is projected to be around the same number.
With all that being said, let's look at where exactly the money will go and how much each Cubs starter will earn in 2024.
1. Jameson Taillon: 2024 salary of $18 million
Jameson Taillon is somehow the highest-paid pitcher in the Chicago Cubs organization despite turning in an abysmal first year with the club. Over 29 starts, the 31-year-old Taillon turned in a lackluster 4.84 ERA, gave up 27 home runs, and generally did not display the confidence the team needed him to. There were decent outings here and there, but there needs to be more consistency from a guy on a $68 million deal like his.
With three years left on his contract, Taillon will have to prove himself in 2024 because he is currently the weakest link in the rotation despite one of the spots possibly going to a rookie. It feels wrong to have everyone expecting your highest-paid pitcher to have a bad outing more often than not, but that's where we are with Taillon. At worst, Taillon should be the third man in the rotation with this kind of contract so he has a lot to prove.