Imagine a world where the Chicago Cubs hadn’t traded for Jose Quintana last year. Sure, they might still have some prospects to pine over, but maybe they don’t galvanize in the second half last year, and don’t overcome a 5.5-game deficit in the NL Central.
And, as we sit here today on the edge of Spring Training with the Cubs still searching for one more starting pitcher addition, how in the heck would we be feeling right now if the Cubs didn’t already have Quintana in the fold? I can only assume another starter would have been added by this point, but sweet heavens – the Cubs would have gone into the offseason needing to add THREE starting pitchers. It would have been madness, and risky as all get out.
Maybe the Cubs still sign Tyler Chatwood early on, and maybe they pull off a trade for a different controllable starting pitcher. Maybe they landed Sonny Gray or Gerrit Cole. Or maybe, at the start of the offseason, they play a little less hardball with Alex Cobb, making he and Tyler Chatwood a couple quick and early additions. Certainly fits the front office’s M.O., so they aren’t caught *completely* pants down in February.
Both of Chatwood and Cobb would be fine additions, but the projected Cubs rotation at that point would be Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Alex Cobb, Tyler Chatwood, and Mike Montgomery. With scary depth behind it. Not only would we as fans be relatively panic stricken about the Cubs SIGNING SOMEBODY RIGHT NOW, but also the climate this offseason may not have made it especially conducive to the Cubs pulling that off, even if they were willing to pay market rates.
Of course, who knows? If we really want to butterfly wings this thing, we could say that maybe the early-offseason signing of someone like Cobb would have triggered other earlier signings, and the whole market stalemate wouldn’t have happened! IT’S ALL THE FRONT OFFICE’S FAULT!
Thank goodness the Cubs did manage to pull off the rare intracity trade, and add a guy who was freaking awesome for them in the second half. Moreover, Quintana could be just as good for the Cubs this season.
While you enjoy those probabilities, and ponder the horrors of a world where those are not the probabilities, watch Quintana gearing up for the season at home in Colombia:
— MLB (@MLB) February 6, 2018