In dire need of pitching, will Cubs make run at Carlos Rodon?
Before getting to the Cubs and what roster additions they might be making in the off-season, let's start with some good news.
There will be no more endless trade rumors involving Kris Bryant. Or Javier Baez. Or Anthony Rizzo. Or Kyle Schwarber.
The four key members of the Cubs' 2016 World Series championship team are long gone.
Schwarber was the first to be launched. The left-handed slugger was non-tendered last December, he signed with the Nationals and is now trying to help the Red Sox get to the World Series after being traded from Washington to Boston.
Bryant (Giants), Baez (Mets) and Rizzo (Yankees) were all dealt for prospects in July and are eligible for free agency.
Is there a chance Schwarber, Bryant, Baez or Rizzo return to the Cubs? Anything's possible, but if the Cubs couldn't strike long-term deals with any of the foursome in years past, it is highly unlikely something suddenly changes over the winter.
That being said, the Cubs need plenty of help after baseball boss Jed Hoyer traded ace starter Yu Darvish last December and continued gutting the roster through the season.
Here are three possible additions:
Carlos Rodon: The Cubs' starting rotation posted a 5.27 ERA this season. In the National League, only the Pirates (5.53) were worse.
Max Scherzer, Robbie Ray and Kevin Gausman are the top free agent starters, but Hoyer has indicated the Cubs won't be splurging on talent.
Hoyer is looking for a power arm in the rotation, and that is definitely Rodon.
A free agent after pitching for the White Sox on a one-year, $3 million contract, Rodon is set up for a hefty bump.
But considering his continuing run of health issues, the left-hander could be much more affordable and a good fit across town.
Anthony DeSclafani: Another starting pitcher that could help the Cubs at a reasonable wage, DeSclafani signed a one-year, $6 million contract with the Giants last winter and had the best season of his career -- 13-7 with a 3.17 ERA in 31 starts.
The right-hander didn't make much of an impression during a five-year stay with the Reds that was hampered by injuries, but a healthy DeSclafani helped San Francisco win 107 games this season.
Andrew Chafin: In addition to the rotation, the Cubs need plenty of help in the bullpen and bringing back Chafin makes sense.
Traded to the Athletics in late July after posting a 2.06 ERA in 43 appearances, the 31-year-old lefty was even better (1.53) in 28 games with Oakland.
Chafin does have a $5.25 million option for 2022 that the cash-strapped A's will likely pass on.
The quirky reliever enjoyed his time with the Cubs and would likely be open to a return if he hits the open market.