What players should the Chicago Cubs be after as they fill out the roster for 2017 to try to repeat as the World Series champions? I obviously have no inside connections, but I do have some ideas as to who might make interesting and helpful additions. So here are my predictions of possibilities.
Which would you choose?
- Trade for Chris Archer or Zack Greinke
- Sign Daniel Hudson
Add an ace starting pitcher in trade and sign a good bullpen arm. (I don’t think the White Sox would trade Chris Sale to the Cubs.) I am willing to trade Javier Baez in a deal for a controllable ace like Archer or Greinke.
- Sign Kenley Jansen
- Trade for Jake Odorizzi
Sign one of the best closers in baseball and trade for a second-tier starting pitcher. (I prefer Jansen’s overall abilities a bit over Aroldis Chapman. He might also come slightly cheaper.) Trade Jorge Soler, Miguel Montero (Tampa Bay needs a catcher) and whatever other minor (sic) piece it may take in a deal for Odorizzi. Then sign a good defensive veteran backup backstop (Brayan Peña?) to replace Montero.
- Trade for Sonny Gray and Sean Doolittle
Oakland won’t sell low on Gray, but they’ll trade these guys for a good return. There is injury risk, however, in both these pitchers. Doolittle also has a cool tie to Chicago.
In addition to the above possibilities, I imagine them adding outfielder Jon Jay (platoon partner with Albert Almora in center field) and a left-handed reliever (a situational lefty!). A sleeper lefty is Jack Leathersich, who is in the Cubs minors.
The Cubs bullpen isn’t in a bad place. They will need a closer. (Though he did quite well pre-Disabled List, I’m not sure Hector Rondon is the future answer, but the Cubs know his health better than we do.) They’ll have Rondon, Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards Jr. and Justin Grimm, though if Mike Montgomery moves to the rotation and Travis Wood is gone via free agency then Rob Zastryzny is the only returning lefty.