By Jacob Kornhauser on April 2, 2014
With the very distinct possibility that ace Jeff Samardzija could be traded this summer and the fact the team has very little minor league pitching depth, the Cubs will certainly have to add pitching in the next couple of offseasons in order to become competitive in the NL once again. That process will begin this coming offseason, and here are five pitchers set to become free agents who could majorly help the Cubs out.
Should he reach free agency, Scherzer will be set for the biggest payday of any pitcher on the market. He has already turned down a multi-year offer from the Tigers worth more than million annually, so he won't be cheap. If the Cubs think they're close to competing though, locking down a true ace is vital and Scherzer has shown that he can be just that.
Anderson seems to fit the mold of the types of low-risk, high-reward guys that Theo Epstein and co. like to bring in. He has a lot of injury history, but also a lot of upside. On top of that, he's a lefty who would give the Cubs two southpaws in the rotation. Having rotational balance like that is a major plus.
Matt Garza was plucked out of free agency this offseason by the Brewers, and the Cubs could take one of Milwaukee's star pitchers right back. Gallardo didn't have a great 2013 campaign, but he's shown that he can be a very good No. 2 starter at the very least.
Surprisingly, Lester will only be 31 when he enters free agency, which means he could give the Cubs several good years when they're contending. He knows how to win in October, and that could be a huge boost to a young team if they reach the postseason.
Perhaps the most intriguing pitcher on this list is Masterson, who has finally started putting everything together in Cleveland. He has tremendous upside and has a "young arm" even though he will be 30 because he hasn't taken a lot of wear and tear in his career. With his career on the upswing, he could be the future ace of the Cubs' staff at just over half the price of guys like Scherzer.
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