Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

john lackey cardinalsThis weekend, we talked about the Chicago Cubs’ many pitching options and how they’ll check in on every reasonable one, including free agent righty John Lackey. Among the second tier starters out there, Lackey does seem like an interesting option for the Cubs.

And are they doing more than just checking in?

Nick Cafardo says that, while the Cardinals are still involved, and Lackey’s other most recent former team, the Red Sox, have inquired, the two teams that may have the “best shot” of signing Lackey are the Cubs and Giants.

Lackey’s preference, according to Cafardo, is to stay in the National League, and certainly the Cubs and Giants will be among the teams that (1) have a clear need for starting pitching, (2) look to be very competitive over the next few years, and (3) play in a city that folks generally seem to like. I could see why, assuming they’re pursuing him, the Cubs and Giants could be among the finalists for a guy like Lackey.

We’ll see, though. We’ve already been told that the Cubs are “favorites” for David Price, and seem “more probable than not” to sign Jeff Samardzija. Not all of these things can actually play out.

Just as it was in those cases, I think you can safely conclude that there’s legitimate interest by the Cubs in Lackey, but, with so many options on the market, this could all play out a number of ways. I think all we can do on the outside is assess interest, evaluate the fit and expected production, and wait to see if rumored contract demands/discussions start trickling out so that we can analyze that side of things, too.

Michael took a long look at Lackey, by the way, and the results were pretty intriguing for those who thought a 37-year-old post-Tommy John pitcher could never be a good target.

One other thing: those Giants are looking to nab at least one starter, so they’re probably going to keep popping up in these kinds of conversations about the Cubs’ pursuits. Let’s not forget: last year, Jon Lester’s decision ultimately came down to the Cubs, the Red Sox, and the Giants.


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