(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
With an 83-79 record in 2023, the Chicago Cubs finished second in the NL Central last year and were at the doorstep of a postseason berth.
They definitely want to return to October, so they invested important resources to bring in manager Craig Counsell.
This week, they also completed the signing of a high-profile Japanese pitcher: Shota Imanaga.
Recent reports state that Imanaga agreed to a four-year, $53 million contract but options after the second and third year could make it a five-year, $80 million pact.
FOX Sports: MLB showed Chicago’s rotation after bringing in Imanaga:
The Cubs 2024 projected starting rotation pic.twitter.com/uHwURQ1UtB
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) January 11, 2024
The ace is, without a doubt, Justin Steele.
Steele was a Cy Young award candidate last season and posted a pristine 3.06 ERA and 176 strikeouts.
He has matured and is now the frontline starter Chicago has needed for a while.
After Steele, however, the remaining pitchers have more questions associated with them.
For example, Jameson Taillon has been very successful in the past, but posted a rather mediocre 4.84 ERA in 2023.
Imanaga is very promising, having posted a 2.80 ERA in Japan with significantly more strikeouts than innings.
He also performed well in the World Baseball Classic last spring.
But he is also a fly-ball pitcher in Wrigley Field so homers could be a problem.
Command artist Kyle Hendricks won’t miss many bats, but was still able to finish with a good 3.74 ERA last year.
Jordan Wicks completes the group and could be a nice fifth starter.
It’s still not a top rotation, however, and it could definitely use an additional top arm like Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery, or even the return of Marcus Stroman.
Chicago also needs to make sure Cody Bellinger comes back.
If those things happen, they could be very, very dangerous under Counsell.
If not, emerging powerhouses such as the Cincinnati Reds and, potentially, the Pittsburgh Pirates or even the St. Louis Cardinals can give them a hard time.
The post Graphic Shows Cubs’ Rotation After Major Signing appeared first on The Cold Wire.
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