Chicago Cubs Roster
- NL Central
- Wrigley Field
The San Francisco Giants are interested in free-agent left-hander Jon Lester as they look to add one more starting pitcher this offseason. Lester seriously considered signing with the Giants before joining the Cubs in 2014. San Francisco general manager Scott Harris worked in the Cubs front office during Lester's time in Chicago, and pitching on the West Coast isn't a deal-breaker for the 36-year-old southpaw. The Giants are looking for a replacement after lefty Drew Smyly signed with the Braves. Lester has been durable in his career, but he has a 4.64 ERA (94 ERA+) the last two years, including a 5.16 ERA with a 5.14 FIP during the shortened 2020 season. At this point, the veteran is a low-upside, matchup-based arm, although a move to pitcher-friend San Francisco could prolong his career.
After new owner Steve Cohen purchased the New York Mets for a record price this year, the Mets are expected to be extremely active in the free-agent and trade markets this winter. Cohen is the richest owner in baseball during a pandemic at a time in which most teams could be looking to move contracts for lesser returns. "Timing is everything and the timing is perfect for (Cohen) to take advantage of any market," one National League executive said. Among New York's targets this winter under new owner Steve Cohen could be Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish and Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado. The Indians and Cubs could be looking to dramatically reduce their payrolls, and Lindor and Darvish are their most expensive pieces.
The Chicago Cubs are likely to pick up first baseman Anthony Rizzo's $16.5 million option for the 2021 season before the Sunday deadline, according to sources. The Cubs did the same for the 31-year-old before last season, picking up a similar $16.5 million option for 2020. Rizzo continues to be a stalwart at first base and a leader in the clubhouse for the Cubbies. He hit just .222, though, with 11 home runs during the shortened season this year. Rizzo has been a solid value for Chicago after he signed a seven-year, $41 million extension back in 2013. The left-handed slugger will get a chance to rebound from his disappointing 2020 campaign next year and should remain a top-50 fantasy pick.
The Chicago Cubs declined starting pitcher Jon Lester's $25 million team option on Friday, making him a free agent. The 36-year-old southpaw was at the end of his six-year, $155 million deal with the Cubs, but he could still return on a lesser deal. Lester will receive a $10 million buyout. The three-time World Series champion is optimistic that he can get something worked out and return to Chicago. Lester struggled with some mechanical issues in 2020 but rebounded late in the year to finish 3-3 with a 5.16 ERA. The Cubs will also decline their option on infielder Daniel Descalso, who will be owed a $1 million buyout.
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish suffered the loss in Game 2 of the Cubs wild-card series versus the Miami Marlins. Darvish was on his game, but made one bad pitch to Garrett Cooper in the top of the seventh inning that turned into a home run. Darvish then allowed a double to Matt Joyce. Joyce then scored off of a Magneuris Sierra single. Sierras single knocked Darvish out of the game and gave the Marlins a 2-0 lead. Besides for the two-out rally by the Marlins in the top of the seventh, the Cy Young candidate was spot on. Darvish finished the game allowing five hits, two runs, two walks and recorded six Ks in 6 2/3 innings. Darvish got no help from the Cubs offense in Game 2 and finishes 2020 with a 8-3 record and 2.01 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 76 innings. Darvish has been one of the best and most consistent pitchers since the second half of 2019 and should be lined up as a top-10 starting pitcher heading into 2021.