Chicago Cubs: Team Needs Pitching Plan At Winter Meetings

By Andy Schmidt

With the winter meetings about to begin next week, the Chicago Cubs made another move to improve their starting rotation this week with the addition of former Texas Rangers pitcher Scott Feldman. Feldman went back and forth from starting to the bullpen in 2012 but will likely be the Cubs’ No. 4 starter when the 2013 season gets underway on April 1 in Pittsburgh against the Pirates. This move though is one that has to be coming with something else in mind.

The rotation for next season seems very weak in the back end with Feldman and Scott Baker, and while Feldman may be helped by a move from the American League to the National League, how much better can he really be? The Cubs have to go into the winter meetings with the mindset of getting another starting pitcher like Shaun Marcum or Brandon McCarthy.

It is obvious that the top-end starters are out of play for this team, so looking for yet another No. 3 or 4 starter looks like the route. While I’m all for waiting this out and sticking with the plan, this team needs at least a No. 2 starter.

It appears that none of those options are going to pan out as teams lock up their best starters before they can even hit free agency, so the Cubs will have to build through their farm system for pitching or keep picking up middle of the rotation players. I’m not sure how far the team can go with a whole rotation of No. 3 and 4 starters.  I guess it can’t be any worse than how 2012 went.

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