Not trading for this Cy Young candidate was the Cubs' biggest offseason miss

A long-rumored Cubs trade target instead wound up with an NL powerhouse early in the winter.

Los Angeles Dodgers v Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers v Los Angeles Angels / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

I'm not saying the Chicago Cubs should have traded for Tyler Glasnow simply because of the Jameson Taillon injury. That isn't the problem he could have helped solve. Instead, it's because of the lack of power and dominant stuff at the top of the rotation that's been laid bare as we all attempt to figure out what the rotation will look like without Taillon to start the year.

Glasnow has looked every bit of the ace the Los Angeles Dodgers hoped they were getting when they acquired him from the Tampa Bay Rays back in December. Andrew Friedman took things a step further than that, though, extending the oft-injured right-hander via a massive five-year, $136.5 million deal that will keep him in LA through 2028.

This spring, Glasnow has made a trio of starts, notching 10 punchouts in nine innings of work, while putting up a 0.90 ERA and 0.700 WHIP. If he stays healthy - and that's admittedly a big 'if' - it's terrifying to think about what that Dodgers rotation could look like in October - and let's not forget: Shohei Ohtani returns to the rotation in 2025, too.

Tyler Glasnow could have transformed this Cubs rotation in 2024

Meanwhile, the Cubs are lining up Justin Steele and then a lot of potential and depth. Shota Imanaga could be a big strikeout arm in that mix, but comes with questions as a first-year MLB player, namely whether or not he can limit the home runs enough to be effective. Kyle Hendricks and Jameson Taillon are quality middle-of-the-rotation starters and the carousel of back-end options needs no repeating given how much we've talked about it lately.

Chicago's rotation could look wildly different had Jed Hoyer swung a deal for Glasnow. Would it have been risk-free? Absolutely not. In fact, it's probably one of the higher-risk moves he could have made this winter. But the prospect cost wasn't overwhelming and there's no mandate he would have had to follow Friedman's course and extend him, either.

The Cubs, at least on paper, probably have enough to make the postseason thanks to playing in a very winnable NL Central. But there's a big gap between a team like this and legitimate postseason favorites like the Dodgers or Braves - and barring a breakout campaign from someone on the staff or an impact acquisition, this rotation could be a thorn in their side come October.

feed