Jordan Zimmermann is a member of the Detroit Tigers. David Price is a member of the Boston Red Sox. And the Chicago Cubs are still looking to bolster their rotation.
Price, now one of the most handsomely compensated players in Major League Baseball, was at the top of the offseason wishlist for many Cubs fans. Zimmermann was probably not too far from the top of many as well. Although these two excellent starting pitchers are off the market, there is still plenty of hope for a Cubs rotation that needs some help.
Help could come in the form of player that Cubs fans are all too familiar with – Jeff Samardzija. It’s been a couple years, but Theo and company attempted to keep Samardzija around with an extension which he ultimately declined. He was subsequently sent off to the Oakland Athletics along with Jason Hammel. In return, the Cubs received budding star Addison Russell.
Samardzija has not pitched particularly well since departing from the Friendly Confines. In 214 innings in 2015, a number that probably should have been lower given his production, Samardzija posted a 4.96 ERA on the South Side with the Chicago White Sox. Although that number is slightly alarming, it also greatly reduced his perceived asking price. Reuniting with Chris Bosio could do a world of good for the right-hander, and if the two sides can come to an agreement on the contract, it would not surprise me one bit to see Jeff Samardzija pitching for the Cubs in 2015.
Another name to keep an eye on is Mike Leake.
Cubs fans will once again be familiar with this name, because as a member of the Cincinnati Reds he always seemed to have the Cubs’ number. In 2015 Leake posted a 3.70 ERA as a member of both the Reds and later the San Francisco Giants. Although his numbers took a dip after he was traded, he is a proven veteran starter who can join the middle or back end of this Cubs rotation and keep them in games. That’s all you can really ask for from a third or fourth starter in the rotation.
Yes, David Price’s reunion with Joe Maddon would have been quite exciting. Yes, having a 1-2-3 of Arrieta, Lester, Price would have been spectacular. The good news is that there’s still talent available on the market, and it isn’t going to cost 26 million dollars per year to lock it down.