According to a report from David Kaplan, the Cubs are interested in Indians RHP Danny Salazar.
Theo Epstein said Thursday the Cubs would like to add at least one quality starting pitcher this off-season and he is not sure if the front office will sign a free agent or acquire an arm via trade.
The Cubs were linked to Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco at the trade deadline. Carrasco, along with RHP Julio Teheran and RHP Tyson Ross are also believed to be on the front office’s list of possibilities to acquire this winter.
Danny Salazar had a breakout season in his first full year in the big leagues. Salazar was 14-10 with a 3.45 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 3.62 FIP in 30 starts. Salazar allowed 79 runs, 71 earned, on 156 hits with 53 walks and 195 strikeouts in 185 innings (9.5 K/9). Outside of Cleveland in his big league career, Salazar is 10-15 in 34 starts with a 3.86 ERA and 1.20 WHIP, 25 of the 43 homers he has allowed has been on the road.
Danny Salazar turns 26 in January and is the type of young, controllable arm the Cubs covet. Salazar is not arbitration eligible until 2017 and has five years of club control left before he would hit free agency.
Salazar had Tommy John surgery in 2010 and lost a majority of the 2011 season. Salazar can light up a radar gun with a fastball that sits in the 94-97 mph range.
The Indians would like to add a right-handed power bat, preferably an outfielder. According to Jon Heyman the Indians are looking for a centerfielder or a right fielder. And Bruce Levine indicated Cleveland “would love to acquire Jorge Soler.”
Bruce Levine is not sure if the Indians would be willing to part with Danny Salazar and he thinks if the Cubs and Indians were to pull off a deal that Salazar and Soler could be part of a bigger trade with additional players involved.
Based on recent reports, it appears the Cubs would trade Jorge Soler, Starlin Castro or Javier Baez in the right deal to acquire starting pitching.
Theo Epstein mentioned Thursday the Cubs love having the position-player depth on the roster but it might not be realistic to keep all of the players and still add pitching the team lacks.