What if the Chicago Cubs had an unlimited budget to go out and get a top-notch pitching staff? Who would they want as the five starters? Well, if I had any say in the matter- this is who I would target.
For the first spot in my rotation, I would go after Justin Verlander. Verlander had an ERA of 2.64 in 2012, and he can be counted on to go deep into the game every time he takes the mound. He is a leader in the clubhouse, and can be counted on for 20 or more wins every year.
The second spot in my rotation would go to Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg is another power right-handed pitcher. While he is young and has a history of arm issues, he has electric stuff and outstanding control. In 2012 Strasburg had an ERA of 3.16. A little mentoring from Verlander, and Strasburg could be the next Nolan Ryan.
For the third spot in my rotation, I would go away from the power pitchers and really mess with the batters. Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey would be an excellent contrast to the speed that batters have seen from the first two pitchers. In 2012 R.A. Dickey’s ERA was 2.73.
For my fourth spot, I need some left-handed pitching. Clayton Kershaw is an amazing young pitcher who would probably be chosen first by any GM if they were asked to build a team from scratch. Kershaw had an ERA of 2.53 in 2012.
For my fifth and final spot, I would pick up David Price. In 2012 this lefty went 20-5 with an ERA of 2.56. Price is known for pounding the strike zone, especially with his first pitch. His outstanding control and pitching IQ would remind Cubs fans of Greg Maddux.
The combined record of these pitchers in 2012 was 86-34. Clearly, the Cubs could win a world series with this rotation right? Oh well, I suppose I’ll continue to dream.