The Chicago Cubs haven’t been really active this offseason in free agency. They lost four starting pitchers from a season ago, Yu Darvish, Jon Lester, Jose Quintana and Tyler Chatwood. Darvish was the biggest loss for Chicago as he finished second in NL Cy Young last season. It’s going to be hard to replace those guys in the starting rotation.
However, there are still big names in the market for the Cubs to snatch. The Cubs currently only have four starting pitchers active on their roster, so look for the Cubs to make a lot of pitching moves within the coming weeks. The Cubs’ biggest pitcher signing so far was 30-year-old starting pitcher, Shelby Miller who signed a minor league deal.
Here are three pitchers the Cubs should target in free agency to bolster their pitching staff.
Why not, go out and get the former Chicago Cub?
Arrieta was pretty successful with his time in Chicago. The best years of his careers came from 2014-2017, all with the Cubs. Since he left the Cubs in 2018, Arrieta has gone 22-23 with a 4.56 ERA. The former Cy Young winner took a huge step backward with his time in Philadelphia. Although Arrieta hasn’t been efficient the past couple of seasons with the Phillies, the Cubs can take a chance on him for the 2021 season.
According to Spotrac, his market value is about $ 6.5 million. His value seems to be favorable because of his recent poor pitching and his age. However, at age 35, Arrieta still has the tools to be a solid pitcher in the major leagues.
It was only five seasons ago that Arrieta was considered a top-10 pitcher in the league. In 2015, Arrieta went 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA. He also finished the season with four complete games and three shutouts. Arrieta was untouchable that season which led him to win the NL Cy Young award.
Although Arrieta won’t pitch that dominant ever again, he can still bring value to the Cubs.
Mike Foltynewicz was once thought to be the main guy in the Atlanta Braves’ rotation. After a phenomenal 2018 season, Foltynewicz made his first all-star appearance going 13-10 with a 2.85 ERA. However, following an elbow injury in 2019, Foltynewicz took a step back in his game.
Nevertheless, Foltynewicz showed the MLB in 2018 that he can be a solid pitcher in the league. The thing holding him back is injuries and confidence. All the confidence that Foltynewicz had in 2018 has been lost.
The Cubs can desperately use Foltynewicz in their starting rotation. For starters, he is from Illinois and went to high school there, so he would love to play for his home state. Additionally, Foltynewicz was drafted in the first round out of high school for a reason. He has the talent/skills to be a top-25 pitcher in the league.
Foltynewicz, 29, still has plenty of time left in the majors and can definitely get back to his 2018 form.
In a contract year, Julio Teheran did not live up to expectations for the Angels. He went 0-4 with a 10.05 ERA in nine starts. It was an off-year for the former two-time all-star, but it might have just been a slip in the road for the 30-year-old veteran.
Through Teheran’s 10 year career, he has been an average pitcher in the major leagues. His career record is 77-77 with a 3.81 ERA. His stats even scream average. However, the Cubs need all the help that they can get in the starting rotation.
Due to the off-year by Teheran, according to Spotrac, his market value is just $1.1 million. His value seems extremely low. The previous season in 2019, Teheran went 10-11 with a 3.81 ERA for the Atlanta Braves. Look for him to have similar stats in 2021 with a regular offseason and spring training.
If the Cubs can grab Teheran off the market for just $1.1 million, that is an absolute steal for Chicago.
Featured Image Courtesy of the Daily Herald