With the new year upon us, the start of Cubs spring training awaits in less than six weeks. The incomplete grade on the Cubs’ offseason shouldn’t be confused for a lack of aggressiveness from the team’s front office. Executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have been busy through the holiday season looking to add to their roster, but the market has moved slowly. Starting pitching has been the team’s emphasis. The Cubs added Tyler Chatwood on a three-year deal to help fill the 338 2/3 innings that Jake Arrieta and John Lackey combined to throw for in 2017 before entering free agency this offseason. Most of the Cubs’ activity came at the Winter Meetings in mid-December, when they added late-inning relievers Brandon Morrow and Steve Cishek, each on two-year deals. Both are capable of closing. Morrow has the big arm and arsenal to take possession of the closer’s job now that Wade Davis has signed with the Rockies. Cishek saved 25 games for the Mariners in 2016. Left-hander Drew Smyly, signed to a two-year deal, could also be a key addition to the Cubs’ bullpen late in the 2018 season after he had Tommy John surgery this past July. Looking ahead, the Cubs have a renewed interest in bringing back Arrieta, sources said. Arrieta, who turns 32 in March, had a 3.53 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 30 starts in 2017. The two clubs showing the most interest in Arrieta are the Cubs and Cardinals, according to one industry source. The Cubs have also stayed in touch with free agent right-handers Yu Darvish and Alex Cobb. Epstein and Hoyer had a long in-person meeting with Darvish on Dec. 18. The Cubs were long thought to be the favorite to land Cobb because of his familiarity with new Chicago pitching coach Jim Hickey and manager Joe Maddon from their shared days in Tampa Bay. However, that may no longer be the case. As of mid-December, the asking price for Cobb that was projected to be around $14 million or $15 million annually appeared to jump by $3 million to $4 million annually.
Cubs Still Have Key Additions To Make For 2018 Season
CBSChicago.com | Jan 3