There’s no reason to worry about the Chicago Cubs right now. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try to upgrade before MLB’s non-waiver deadline passes, of course.
And when it comes to their starting rotation, one arms sticks out — just not in a good way. Tyler Chatwood, who’s under contract through 2020, is having a miserable time. His ERA and FIP currently sit at 5.01 and 5.05 respectively. If that’s not bad enough for you, his deserved run average (DRA) is a full two-plus runs higher at 7.17. Worse yet is the fact that he’s walking just about everybody in sight to the tune of an 8.0 BB/9.
Maybe that’s why the Cubs are looking at the possibility of upgrading, even if it’s by acquiring 35-year-old J.A. Happ. According to Bob Elliott of the Canadian Baseball Network, that seems like a real possibility.
“Hearing Chicago Cubs may have interest in LHP JA Happ.”
Again, Chatwood isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. He’s getting $12.5 million this year, he’ll get the same next year and he’s due $13 million in 2020. But that doesn’t mean the Cubs need to trot him out there every fifth day. And if Theo Epstein is set on NOT trading what’s left of the farm for a rental, Happ fits the bill just fine. He shouldn’t cost too much to get, and currently holds a 4.44 ERA, 3.96 FIP and 4.56 DRA. His walk rate (2.9 BB/9) would be a breath of fresh air and you could do far worse than Happ when you’re talking about a fifth starter.
Plus the Cubs are still waiting on the return of Yu Darvish. At 51-36, they’re just 1.5 games back of the Milwaukee Brewers for first in the NL Central. Chatwood is a problem, though, and there’s no point in continuing to throw him out there if you’re Chicago.
Happ doesn’t move the needle much, but he addresses a major issue.