Cubs Becoming Destination For Pitchers
The Cubs clubhouse sees it.
The fans, media, and the rest of the league are starting to see it. And, what maybe most important this off-season, potential additions from around the league also see it.
The Cubbies are coming.
Namely, free-agent pitchers are starting to view the Cubs as a real destination. Pitchers such as Jon Lester or James Shields, and possibly David Price next year, could be envisioning the Cubs’ dynamic young offense lining up behind them on a daily basis.
Whether Theo Epstein thinks the time is now to splurge on an impact arm remains to be seen. Epstein shared some thoughts with Nick Cafardo.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say we would or we wouldn’t in the offseason. I think it’s going to be a gradual process between now and next year’s trading deadline and into 2016,” Epstein said. “We don’t want to force anything. If we come across something we feel makes sense for us, there’s no doubt we’ll do it.”
“Everyone is starting to predict that we’ll be the team to watch, but we’re going to go through our period of development at the major league level with our young guys, which is why we’ve got Baez and [Jorge] Soler up here now, to get them used to major league at-bats. We know there’s going to be a period of adjustment for these guys. We’re really heavily invested in our positional players, but now we need to focus our resources on pitching, and if something makes sense to us positionally, we’ll consider it as well.”
Make no mistake, there will be interest from around the league. The Cubs will no longer be in a position to beg for someone to come to Chicago like they did with Anibal Sanchez and Masahiro Tanaka. Agents from around the league will be likely directing their clients towards the North Side of Chicago.
In fact, I heard from a couple of agents yesterday, and the chatter around baseball is that they fully expect Lester to have Chicago atop his free agent itinerary. The Cubs should now have both the money and the weaponry to attract some of the best arms in the game.
Just ask Anthony Rizzo, who shared this tidbit with Paul Sullivan.
“Everyone who gets on first base is like, ‘Man, you guys are going to be really good soon,’ ” Rizzo said. “That soon is up now.”
The free agent pitchers should be lining up now as well.