The Cubs are reportedly looking to add at least one starting pitcher, a reliever and a left-handed bat before the trade deadline. But the front office’s timeframe to acquire a starting pitcher may have changed Wednesday night.
According to a report from the Sun-Times, the Cubs “already appear to have stepped up efforts to find starting pitching in the wake of Jason Hammel’s injury.” The Sun-Times reported Jason Hammel could be looking at time on the disabled list. The Cubs are expected to reveal Friday the results of the MRI that Hammel had on his left hamstring.
Hammel took himself out of Wednesday’s game after the first inning. Hammel felt something in the back of his left knee and said he was in too much pain to continue. The Cubs said he left with left hamstring tightness and Hammel was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Thursday. He was hoping for the best and to avoid the DL.
The Cubs have been exploring ways to add starting pitching. The front office has been concerned about the lack of starting pitching options for a majority of the season. And the lack of depth was exposed when Tsuyoshi Wada struggled before ending up on the DL with inflammation in his left deltoid.
The Cubs traded for LHP Clayton Richard and recalled RHP Dallas Beeler from Triple-A Iowa to pitch in Tuesday’s doubleheader. But loosing Hammel for any amount of time is going to make it difficult for the Cubs to continue to compete for a spot in the post-season tournament.
The Cubs have been linked to several names. The problem is that less than a handful of teams are in sell-mode right now. And the Phillies are not in a rush to make any deals as Andy MacPhail gets settled in and up to speed with Pat Gillick and Ruben Amaro Jr.
The list of starting pitchers the Cubs have been connected to includes: LHP Cole Hamels, LHP Scott Kazmir, RHP Dan Haren, RHP Tom Koehler, RHP Tyson Ross, RHP Andrew Cashner, LHP Jon Niese, RHP James Shields, RHP Adam Warren and RHP Nathan Eovaldi, plus the Mets young arms.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have stated publicly the Cubs are not opposed to trading for a rental player. But the Cubs would prefer to acquire players with multiple years of control. The front office is looking for deals that make sense to help the team win now and in the future.
If the results of Jason Hammel’s MRI revealed more than a minor injury at least the front office will have a little extra time because of the All-Star break to find options that fit within The Plan.