I dont want that contract on the books for the next 8 years is the problem... The way he pitches does not set him up for a long career. Tseng looks competent as a 4/5 starter, and I'm fine calling Lester/Hendricks/Q as our top three.
I'd rather pay for a leadoff/CF guy. Jay was lights out second half, but a Dexter Fowler player was one of the many pieces we sorely needed this year.
Arrieta is a stud and if you don't resign him you will just end up overpaying some other stud starting pitcher, and maybe giving up prospects in trade if the need is really pressing. I can certainly understand if Theo and Jed decide that the cost is too high once the market price presents itself, but give it time to do so. If nothing else, drive the price up for others.
In any case, I trust Theo not to pull an Edwin Jackson here.
They're in a tough spot in regards to pitching. Lester - Hendricks - Quintana is a very good top 3, the problem is once you start filling in that rotation with the rest of the in house names, the depth is non-existent. And you when you start to realize that Lester's best years are behind him it starts looking very thin very fast. Filling out the bullpen likely requires a mid level $5mil/ acquisition as well.
Signing someone like Darvish gets them right back in the driver seat in the central, but the odds of that aren't very high. I'm assuming they'll sign somebody more on the Alex Cobb / Lance Lynn tier of FA pitchers, but that still requires a good chunk of money.
Outfield is an up gradable spot as well, but thats tough to do via FA. Zobrist and Heyward are eating a lot of $$ for not a lot of production. They'll likely run Schwarber out there in left again, but i doubt they'll be able to afford giving him another ~500 below average plate attempts.
The Cardinals are an infield upgrade and innings eater starter away from being within striking distance of the Cubs on paper as it stands now.
Regarding the rotation, I am in agreement with many of the previous posts in that I have confidence in the top three of Quintana, Hendricks, and Lester. If/when Arrieta leaves for free agency (his Chicago home is for sale), the back end of the rotations needs to be addressed. champaignchris and I are fully aboard the Tyler Chatwood bandwagon for the #4 spot. Where #5 comes from is a mystery to me. I'm don't think they'll overpay for relief help, rather I see them getting creative once again.
Cubs interviewing Jim Hickey today. He was the Rays pitching coach and was with Maddon 8 years there so definitely a Maddon guy. He has (reportedly) already talked with the Cardinals and the Red Sox so it should be interesting to see where he ends up.
Cubs interviewing Jim Hickey today. He was the Rays pitching coach and was with Maddon 8 years there so definitely a Maddon guy. He has (reportedly) already talked with the Cardinals and the Red Sox so it should be interesting to see where he ends up.]
Hinske (1B coach) is leaving to become the hitting coach of the Angels. Nice promotion for him.
Martinez (bench coach) is interviewing for the Nat's manager job.
The inevitable brain drain is coming as less successful organizations look to get some of what the Cubs got. It's just a matter of time before someone offers McLeod or Hoyer a President of Baseball Ops position. Fortunately, I trust Maddon and Epstein to hire good replacements and Ricketts has not been shy about ponying up good dough to have a top flight staff.