The Chicago Cubs have started to call up their prospects. Arismendy Alcantara, Kyle Hendricks, Tsuyoshi Wada and Javier Baez have all been called up and are contributing. Jorge Soler is probably the next to be called up.
What you may find in all those names from above is that all but two are position players. If you are keeping score at home, then you would be correct in guessing that this offseason the Cubs will be going after pitching.
Pitching will be a main concern for the Cubs’ offseason. Even though they failed in their attempt to claim Cole Hamels off of waivers, they have shown that they are serious in their search for top flight pitching, and are willing to spend the money needed to get it.
With Hamels off the radar, there are still some good pitching that will be available this winter. Jon Lester, Max Scherzer, James Shields and Justin Masterson are just a few of the names that could be in the mix for the Cubs.
Of course, the Cubs will not be able to sign five top-notch free agent pitchers (if only they could). There will be three to four spots available to current Cubs pitchers. Therefore, between now and the end of the season, there will be an audition to be on the pitching staff in 2015.
In addition to Hendricks and Wada (well, he is in his thirties so he may not be in the mix), the Cubs have Jake Arrieta, Travis Wood, Edwin Jackson, Dan Straily, Felix Doubront and Jacob Turner to fight it out for the open spots in 2015.
As good as Hendricks has pitched, look for the Cubs to do whatever they can to put him in a slot. He would be a great addition in the back end of the rotation.
Wood has had a tough season this year, but he has had success in Chicago, so if he can pick it up he has a shot in 2015.
The Edwin Jackson signing was a mistake and the Cubs should just admit that and cut ties with him. I wouldn’t be looking for him to be in a Cubs uniform next season.
Of the rest, Turner has the best upside. He struggled with Miami, but he was one of the top pitching prospects just two years ago, and he is just 23, so he can turn things around. If he does, he could be a steal for the Cubs.
As good as the hitting prospects turn out, it will be the pitching that will turn things around. A solid pitching rotation, bullpen and a good closer will make the Chicago Cubs a real contender.
Whatever happens in 2015, it is clear the neither Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer or the Ricketts family will accept a poor product on the field in Chicago any longer. Winning is going to be the gameplan now, and the fans and the baseball world will have to get used to it.