(670 The Score) With four-fifths of their intended starting rotation for the 2020 campaign having departed this offseason, the Cubs are still seeking pitching help in free agency.
The club’s scouts are continuing to observe pitchers’ workouts, and one of those on the Cubs’ radar is left-hander Carlos Rodon. The Cubs plan to watch Rodon throw this week, sources said. The White Sox non-tendered Rodon in early December, making him a free agent. The Cubs want to add at least one more starting pitcher and one more reliever before opening the season.
Kyle Hendricks, Zach Davies and Alec Mills are set to fill three of the Cubs’ rotation spots, but the final two slots are open. The expectation is Adbert Alzolay has an inside track to earn a rotation spot, though he probably isn’t ready for a full workload in a 162-game season. Others on the 40-man roster like Tyson Miller, Justin Steele and Cory Abbott will also have the chance to step up.
The Cubs have a need for a left-hander. The top lefty in the organization right now is Brailyn Marquez, who turns 22 on Saturday and hasn’t pitched above class-A save for one appearances for the Cubs in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Marquez likely needs a full season in the upper part of the minor leagues before matriculating to the Cubs for good.
Rodon, 28, was selected No. 3 overall by the White Sox in the 2014 amateur draft. He has been plagued by injuries in recent seasons, making just 41 starts since the end of the 2016 season.
After having shoulder injuries in 2017 and 2018, Rodon experienced elbow soreness and then underwent Tommy John surgery in 2019. Rodon posted an 8.22 ERA in four games, including two starts, in 7 2/3 innings in the 2020 regular season. He has a career 4.14 ERA and 1.57 WHIP across parts of six MLB seasons.
There are other potential reclamation projects the Cubs will keep an eye on in free agency. Chicago already signed Shelby Miller to a minor league deal, and veterans such as Rick Porcello, Trevor Williams and Chris Archer are among the veteran free agents who have been throwing side sessions in front of scouts for multiple clubs.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.