Cubs reportedly one of the many teams showing interest in LHP J.A. Happ
With the uncertainty surrounding the injured Yu Darvish and the season-long struggles of Kyle Hendricks, Tyler Chatwood and Jose Quintana, the Cubs are believed to be looking for ways to improve the rotation.
Theo Epstein recently said the answers to the problems in the rotation would likely have to come from within, meaning Hendricks, Chatwood and Quintana must start performing to expectations. But even with Epstein’s public comments, the Cubs are one of the teams, along with the Yankees, Mariners and Brewers, Bob Elliott linked to lefty J.A. Happ.
The Cubs were connected to righty Nathan Eovaldi last week, which did not come as a surprise. Seemingly every year since the current regime began making the decisions, the Cubs have been rumored to be interested in Eovaldi.
With Happ, the Cubs would likely have to pay too much for a backend of a rotation pitcher. Plus, the organization does not have pitching in the system the Blue Jays would want in return for the veteran lefty.
J.A. Happ has been hit rather hard of late and has not shown any consistency on the mound. One must ask, would Happ actually give the Cubs an upgrade beyond what is already on the roster?
Happ is 10-5 in 18 starts with a 4.44 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. Happ has given up 55 runs, 52 earned, on 90 hits with 34 walks and 115 strikeouts in 105 1/3 innings. On the road, Happ is 4-1 in seven starts with a 2.83 ERA and 1.11 WHIP.
Happ has allowed four runs in two of his last four starts and has not completed six innings in each of his last two outings. Happ is 0-2 in his last two starts with a 14.04 ERA and 2.52 WHIP (13 runs, all earned, on 14 hits with seven walks and nine strikeouts).
The Cubs will likely add to the bullpen, while hopefully staying away from the overpriced and unproven Brad Hand. Trading for a starting pitcher, even ones like J.A. Happ, could prove to be too expensive for an organization with very little prospect currency remaining in the system.