Making it all the way to the NLCS is no mean feat. The Cubs trotting out MLB’s fourth-youngest collection of position players in year three of that run speaks volumes about how bright their future is.
But boy do the Cubs ever need pitching. Arrieta’s a free agent, Jon Lester is no longer a reliable ace, and no high-upside pitching prospects are close to crashing the majors. Tom Verducci’s excellent book The Cubs Way detailed how much team architects Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer dislike spending huge bucks for free-agent pitchers in their 30s, only to watch their skills and health erode in the years that follow. So look for the North Siders to go after less expensive free agents like Alex Cobb, and/or make a clever trade or two to address the middle of the rotation.