Tommy Hottovy's Cubs offseason wish list revealed

Chicago Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy wants a new starting pitcher and a pair of veteran bullpen arms this offseason as the free-agent clock ticks

Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

During an appearance on 670 The Score's Mully and Haugh, Chicago Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said that he wants the team to sign a starting pitcher and two bullpen arms this winter.

" So on the pitching side for me, I feel like a starter and two bullpen pieces are probably kind of where my wish list would be.""

Tommy Hottovy, 670 The Score

It would be very helpful for Jed Hoyer to secure a starting pitcher considering Marcus Stroman opted out of his player option for 2024. While there are many in-house options to fill the rotation spot, like Hayden Wesneski and Jordan Wicks, a reliable veteran would provide much more stability. And to Hottovy's point, guys like Wicks and Wesneski can be utilized as swing options for long relief or to fill in if injuries mount.

The starting pitching market hasn't completely dried up even with intriguing options like Sonny Gray and Aaron Nola off the board. That being said, Hoyer will need to move soon if he wants to nab someone like World Series champion Jordan Montgomery or reigning Cy Young winner Blake Snell, who are arguably the two best arms left. And one has to assume that several teams are talking to both guys.

As for the bullpen, more of a veteran presence could certainly help things as Hottovy pointed out that the Cubs heavily leaned on three unproven arms in 2023.

""And I think the big thing for me is seeing how last year played out, we need to solidify, in my mind, that middle of the bullpen.""

Tommy Hottovy, 670 The Score

There are still many relievers on the market the Cubs could jump on, with guys like Matt Moore, Drew Pomeranz and Jordan Hicks catching my eye when glancing at the remaining free agents. The biggest fish in that pond is former Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader, who is reportedly seeking the largest relief pitcher contract in history. With the Cubs in need of big additions on the offense and starting rotation, I don't see them breaking the bank for a closer right now so Hader is extremely unlikely.

But it would be a real shot in the foot if Hoyer fails to add a difference-making bullpen arm for the second year in a row. Mark Leiter Jr. and Julian Merryweather were brought in on minor league deals and wound up paying dividends, but those additions were more shots in the dark than real investments in the bullpen. If no one is brought in, the front office would essentially be praying that one of Luke Little, Daniel Palencia or someone else steps up in a major way, which is certainly possible but kind of sloppy from a roster-building standpoint.

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