Chicago Cubs: Could Jacob deGrom make sense?


As Tyler Chatwood’s struggles on the mound continue and Yu Darvish’s injury lingers, the Chicago Cubs may again find themselves in need of a starting pitcher. Why not target one of the best in the league?

Let’s start with the obvious question: Do the Chicago Cubs really need a starter? The answer is a resounding “maybe”.

Tyler Chatwood has been bad. The Cubs would love to bump him out of the rotation sooner rather than later. But Mike Montgomery has been very good as a starter. The only reason the Cubs would target a starter is if they’re worried about Yu Darvish’s long-term health, which is entirely possible. He’s a post-Tommy John’s surgery pitcher with nagging tricep tendinitis.

That means the Cubs would need to be after what they expected of Darvish. An aging Cole Hamels won’t fill that void. Jacob deGrom would.

Even if Darvish’s health is expected to be fine by August, deGrom could still be in the front office conversations. We don’t talk about having too many infielders when discussing Manny Machado or too many outfielders when Bryce Harper’s name is whispered around Chicago. It’s because those are the types of difference-making players that you find room for. If you have an opportunity to add Jacob deGrom to your rotation, you better believe the Cubs would move heaven and earth to get him out there every fifth day.

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The price

deGrom would be the most valuable piece to go if he’s traded by the deadline. Manny Machado would be, but with his contract expiring he’ll just be a rental. That means the Cubs will have to cough up some good major league talent to get deGrom. Trading MLB players is rarely popular, but this could almost make too much sense for the Cubs.

The Cubs will be big players on one of Manny Machado or Bryce Harper as they reach free agency this offseason. But as it stands, they don’t have room on their roster for either. Trading for deGrom could pave the way for one of those blockbuster signings. Start the conversation with the Mets with someone like Ian Happ, Kyle Schwarber or Addison Russell, complement that with prospects like David Bote, Adbert Alzolay and/or Duane Underwood and all of a sudden you’ve got a pretty compelling package.

Next: Relief Roundup: Tampa Bay Rays, Nathan Eovaldi flirt with perfection

Whether or not the Chicago Cubs are in the market for a starter is yet to be seen. But of Theo Epstein deems that route necessary, the Cubs would benefit to target the best pitcher available.