Chicago Cubs GM Jed Hoyer indicated that his club would be on the lookout for veteran starting pitching this off-season and noted that short term deals for downtrodden vets have been good for his team.
Two of the hurlers Hoyer has shown early interest in are Brandon McCarthy and Shaun Marcum. McCarthy is recovering from a line drive off his head that could have killed him. Prior to the injury, he was having an outstanding season and figured to draw plenty of interest on the open market. Even after the injury (it appears he’ll make a full recovery), McCarthy has already been one of the most talked-about names on the starting pitching market. With such interest, it would seem unlikely that he’ll have to settle for a one-year, bounce-back contract. Someone will give him multiple years.
The same can probably be said about Marcum. Despite a series of arm injuries and diminished velocity, Marcum has continued to be effective no matter where he has pitched. He’s not a top-tier starter, but he struck out a career-best 7.9 hitters per nine innings last season and hasn’t seen an ERA higher than four since 2007.
The Cubs don’t necessarily have to be looking at these guys on short-term deals and it appears as if they’re willing to spend at least a little money this off-season. Both right handers would be outstanding additions to the Chicago rotation, but the same can be said about many clubs this Winter. If Hoyer wants a buy-low starting pitcher, he may have to set his sights a little lower.