Obviously the Cubs need to add a starting pitcher – nothing showed it off better than last night – and I haven’t made it a secret that I want them to add a serviceable one MUCH sooner than the Trade Deadline, in large part so it can set them up for the most thoughtful deadline possible. But, yeah, I do have to acknowledge the reality that just because you WANT to add a serviceable starting pitcher in mid-June doesn’t mean you can. To that end, I’m not mad that Jed Hoyer and the Cubs haven’t made a move yet, I am just wishful.
But I do have to be realistic. And a well-timed piece from Mike Petriello is a reminder that (1) lots of teams wish they could add a starting pitcher right now, and (2) there is an almost comical dearth of plausibly available, healthy, and effective starters right now:
Hey, need a starting pitcher? Gooooooooooooooooooooooood luck with that.
— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) June 17, 2021
In an analysis there of each contender’s needs based on how they project the rest of the way, you will probably not be surprised to learn that the Cubs rate out as the neediest contender in baseball when it comes to the rotation. So, again, all of our instincts about what the Cubs need to do are spot on.
But, as Petriello points out there, the market is just barren right now. Either you pay out the wazoo for a decent starter now from a team on the fence, or you just have to wait for more of the market to sort itself out (and/or for guys to heal up). It’s worth a read. It cracks me up that it wasn’t 10 days ago that Michael was writing about Kyle Gibson as the type of reasonable, plausible, decent starting pitcher the Cubs should go after … and now suddenly he might be the best available pitcher clearly on the market!
None of this changes the perspective on what the Cubs need to do – that’s Jed Hoyer’s job, after all, even if it’s challenging – but it’s a reminder that, like most years, it’s so dang difficult to make a decent pick-up in June (which is why we suggest seemingly crazy things like signing Cole Hamels). Somehow, the Cubs are going to have to ride this out until a reasonable option becomes available, or just hang onto “competitive” status until later in July when the market might be better sorted.