Chicago Cubs: 5 pitching prospects to call up in 2020

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
1 of 6
Chicago Cubs,
Chicago Cubs, /

The Chicago Cubs are set with their rotation in 2019 but will be losing Cole Hamels after this season. Here are five guys that could take his place.

The Chicago Cubs will have an interesting decision to make after the 2019 campaign comes to an end. The team is set in their rotation this season with guys like Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana, Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels all making the rounds. Hamels, 35, is in his final year under contract with the Cubs and likely won’t be re-signed. He might get a one-year deal somewhere, but the Cubs should focus on getting younger in the rotation.

Jon Lester is under contract through 2020 but has a club option for 2021. Hendricks recently signed a four-year extension with the team that will keep him on the roster through the 2024 season. Quintana is under contract through 2019 as well but has a club option of a team friendly $10.5 million for next season. Yu Darvish, despite his struggles will remain in the rotation because of his salary and is under contract through the 2023 season (via Spotrac).

Darvish has an opt-out after this season but there is not a chance anyone else gives him the kind of money the Cubs have handcuffed them to with him. Quintana has discovered his changeup again this season and it would make a lot of sense to bring him back next year.

That being said, there figures to be a potential opening in the rotation next season. The Cubs could fill it with guys like Tyler Chatwood or Mike Montgomery but Chatwood was a disaster as a starter in 2018. I think the Cubs like Montgomery as a swingman reliever in that bullpen and he is one of the few lefties in the pen.

Let’s look at some guys that could become the fifth starter next season.