The Chicago Cubs are expected to be in the market for starting pitching this off-season and that need may have become more prevalent after Marcus Stroman opted out of his final deal with the team last weekend.
It would seem, given their spending history and prospect capital, that the Cubs may prefer to trade for a starting pitcher as opposed to signing a long-term commitment through free agency. The Cubs have already been linked to Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow this off-season but there is another pitcher available that could be of interest to the team.
FanSided's MLB Insider Robert Murray reports that Cleveland Guardians' starting pitcher Cal Quantrill may be available in trade discussions this off-season. There is an obvious connection to the Cubs being that general manager Carter Hawkins was a part of the Guardians' front office from 2009 through 2021.
Quantrill would be an intriguing trade target for the Cubs. On the surface, it would seem that 2023 was a down season for Quantill and that would be confirmed by looking at his 5.24 ERA in 19 starts. There were some encouraging signs during the second half of the season as Quantill posted a 2.76 ERA in 32.2 innings pitched.
As a whole, outside of 2023, Quantrill has been an effective starting pitcher and does not reach free agency until 2026. From a cost-controlled perspective, acquiring Quantrill may be more valuable for the Cubs than Glasnow being that the Rays' starting pitcher is a free agent after this upcoming season.
In terms of what the Guardians may be seeking for Quantrill, our sister site, Away Back Gone speculated the following:
"Most importantly, Quantrill is also a controllable arm, with two more years of arbitration to go before becoming a free agent. That alone could help the Guardians net a decent prospect, maybe a bullpen arm, or possibly even some sort of potential outfield option."- Steve DiMatteo, Away Back Gone
That seemingly would be a fit for the Cubs considering the plethora of pitching prospects and outfield prospects that are in the top half of the team's prospect rankings.