After syncing up a free-agent singing of Ben Zobrist and a trade of Starlin Castro, the Chicago Cubs are apparently not finished adding pieces. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have made it clear that their goals involved adding a bat whose specialty is of the contact variety, accommodate the now vacant centerfield position, and add young, cost controlled pitching.
Cubs’ management succeeded in fulfilling their need for contact in Zobrist, while also gaining 28-year-old right-handed pitcher Adam Warren as a potential starter. In adding Warren in exchange for Castro, the Cubs were able to rid the former shortstop’s remaining $40.5 million salary, allowing them flexibility to add more pieces through free agency.
According to multiple reports, the Cubs are still open to trading more resources for young pitching, as well as remain very much in the running for coveted free-agent outfielder Jason Heyward.
Dating back to the trade deadline of this past season, starting pitchers Tyson Ross, Carlos Carrasco, and Danny Salazar were of interest to Cubs brass. Now in the brunt of the offseason, these names resurfaced and, according to Fox Sports Jon Morosi, one could land on the North side sometime this winter.
#Cubs also have continued trade dialogue; they are interested in Tyson Ross, Carlos Carrasco, and Danny Salazar, among others.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 10, 2015
The Cubs were also interested in acquiring relief pitching to shore up the back end of their bullpen. Reports indicated the Rays were a potential trade match with Javier Baez being a player of interest by Tampa. Whether or not the Cubs want to deal both Castro and Baez in the same offseason is unclear. However, Baez’s value can net a top reliever such as Brad Boxberger or Jake McGee.
With all that being said, if the Cubs can find a way to add another arm and a filler in centerfield, then they would be considered better than they were last season – on paper, at least. Would the Cubs eclipse their improbable 97 win season they put together last year? Its possible. But with the additions already made to this point in John Lackey, Ben Zobrist, and Adam Warren, the Cubs are primed for yet another deep playoff run.
Adding more pieces should be considered overkill, and that’s exactly what the Cubs want to do.