Tyler Chatwood remains the only starting pitcher added by the Chicago Cubs thus far in the offseason. The Cubs seem content with that despite making overtures with the top three free agent pitchers in this year’s market.
The Cubs have been linked to Yu Darvish, Alex Cobb and a reunion with Jake Arrieta. Each of the three continues to remain unsigned as the MLB free agency market has yet to fully sort itself out. Signs of the market falling into place will not happen until one of those pitchers agree to sign a contract.
It is expected that the Chicago Cubs will sign either Yu Darvish, Alex Cobb or Jake Arrieta. The questions continues to be will the Cubs become the first team to add one of the top pitchers and how long will the Cubs be content with who they already have.
Joining the Chicago Cubs in the pursuit of Darvish, Cobb and Arrieta are the Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers. The Rangers were just recently eliminated from the Yu Darvish negotiations, according to MLB.com. With the Rangers out of the picture for Darvish, it strengthens the Cubs’ chances at acquiring the pitcher rumored to be their top offseason target.
Alex Cobb and Jake Arrieta are fallback options for the Chicago Cubs if they lose out on the Yu Darvish sweepstakes. Either pitcher would help the Cubs’ starting rotation.
A Jake Arrieta return would give the Cubs some continuity within the pitching staff. Many believe that Jake Arrieta would be with the Cubs if he did not prefer a contract over four years. The Cubs re-signing Arrieta would be considered a good move.
According to CBS Chicago’s Bruce Levine, Alex Cobb is viewed as the best bet to land with the Cubs if they do not sign Darvish. Cobb has the tools to be a front of the rotation starting pitcher at this point in his career.
The competition for Alex Cobb is not as clear as it is for Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta. The Cubs are one of the teams with a clear interest in the 30-year-old starter. The other team with a confirmed desire to add Cobb are the New York Yankees.
With Alex Cobb’s former pitching coach Jim Hickey now serving in the same capacity on the Cubs, Cobb’s signing would not be a surprise. Alex Cobb would determine the free agent market if he signed before Darvish and Arrieta, however.
With one offseason addition already added to the pitching staff, the Chicago Cubs are not in a panic. In fact, the Cubs are expecting a lot from Tyler Chatwood, who is a clear upgrade over the aging John Lackey.
Right-hander Mike Montgomery is also available for the Cubs if they want to go into spring training with what they have. The combination of Chatwood and Montgomery is reason enough for the Chicago Cubs to feel content.