The Cubs would like to add at least one starting pitcher prior to the non-waiver trade deadline (Friday, 3:00pm CDT) and are focused on RHP Tyson Ross and RHP Ian Kennedy according to multiple reports.
The Cubs and Padres reportedly discussed a deal for Starlin Castro. A.J. Preller is looking for a shortstop and the Cubs are looking for pitching. The immediate connection was to James Shields. Reports during Monday’s game suggested the Cubs were close to acquiring Shields from the San Diego. Those reports were shot down as the Tyson Ross and Ian Kennedy rumors increased.
As for those James Shields rumors, Patrick Mooney and Buster Olney reported the Cubs are not close on a deal to acquire James Shields from the Padres.
Patrick Mooney reported the Cubs view Tyson Ross “as an ideal fit” because he is “not positioned to become a free agent until after the 2017 season.” Ross fits within the front office’s plan. Ross can help the team win games now and in the future.
Tyson Ross turned 28 in April and is 6-8 in 21 starts with a 3.45 ERA, 1.39 WHIP and 2.75 FIP. Ross has allowed 51 runs, 47 earned, on 114 hits with 57 walks and 132 strikeouts in 122 2/3 innings.
The Cubs see Ian Kennedy as “a decent rental at the right price” according to Patrick Mooney. Kennedy is set to be a free agent at the end of the season. And he will not cost the Cubs the amount or level of prospects that a Tyson Ross or Andrew Cashner would.
In 18 starts this season, Ian Kennedy is 6-9 with a 4.58 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 5.25 FIP. Kennedy has allowed 99 hits, 22 home runs, 28 walks and 89 strikeouts in 96 1/3 innings. Kennedy missed time early in the season (April 10-25) with a strained left hamstring.
Kennedy has pitched better outside of San Diego this year than at PETCO Park (4-4 in 10 starts with a 5.26 ERA and 1.33 WHIP). Kennedy is 2-5 in eight road starts with a 3.80 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. Kennedy has given up 25 runs, 19 earned, on 48 hits with 11 walks and 38 strikeouts in 45 innings. And of the 22 home runs he has served up this year, eight of those have been hit on the road.
Ian Kennedy is 2-2 in his last four starts with a 3.63 ERA and 1.30 WHIP.
As reported on Monday, it could take up to the deadline for the Cubs to add a starting pitcher, or two the roster, as Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer wait for teams to lower their asking price. The Cubs are believed to be looking to acquire at least one starting pitcher, a late-inning reliever and a bat that can play multiple positions either in the infield, outfield or both.