The front office’s focus this winter is to add pitching and a lot of it to a team that found a way to win 97 games in the regular season with a rather thin staff.
The Cubs are the favorites to sign David Price. There is mutual interest in Jeff Samardzija returning to the North Side and Jordan Zimmermann would reportedly like to pitch for the Cubs as well. The front office is also believed to have Zack Greinke very high on the wish list, possibly behind Price and ahead of other free agent starters.
If the front office can it is believed the Cubs would like to acquire two pitchers for the rotation and depth to keep unforeseen injuries from derailing the goal in 2016 of winning the NL Central.
The Cubs are not relying solely on the free agent market to improve the pitching staff. And the front office is willing to deal from positional player depth to acquire young, controllable starting pitching.
According to a report from the Sun-Times, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer plan to re-engage with teams this week at the GM Meetings they had discussions with about starting pitchers leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline.
The Cubs were linked to Carlos Carrasco (Indians), Tyson Ross (Padres) and Julio Teheran (Braves) in July and since then Danny Salazar (Indians) has reportedly been added to that list.
Jed Hoyer said told the beat writers Friday the Cubs have “already had at least exploratory conversations with all the other 29 teams” as the front office prepared for the GM Meetings. Hoyer expected those “conversations to become much more detailed” during the meetings.
The Sun-Times reported that recent trade conversations between the Cubs and other teams included Starlin Castro, Javier Baez and Jorge Soler. And the Sun-Times explained “two of three could be traded if Cubs can get the pitching help they need or improve the outfield defense enough through that avenue.”
The GM Meetings, which officially begin Monday in Boca Raton, typically set the stage for trades and free agent signings leading up to and through the Winter Meetings. But Hoyer thinks “there’s probably going to be a little more urgency for teams given the fact there’s already been a trade.” Hoyer was referring to the six-player deal between the Mariners and Rays.
Jed Hoyer thinks other teams “are ready to move quickly.” And if the Cubs are presented with a deal that makes sense they “will certainly have to consider it.”
Reports have suggested significant trades could be made this week during the Meetings and over the next two weeks throughout the game.
Stay Tuned …