Rumors have been swirling around the internet that Stephen Strasburg is on the trading block, and one of the locations he could find himself is the Northside of Chicago.
The Chicago Cubs have made a big splash this offseason by acquiring free agent Jon Lester and bulking up their starting rotation. But what if they could sign another huge name in the pitching department? That huge name could be Stephen Strasburg.
Why is Washington Shopping Strasburg?
With the recent signing of star pitcher Max Scherzer, the Nationals have now bolstered their roster to make one of the best starting rotations in the league even better.
There is a saying that you can never have too much starting pitching, and the Nats may stand pat and let things pan out to see who joins Scherzer in the rotation. Scherzer, a Cy Young award winner in Detroit, will at least co-headline a rotation that includes Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmerman, Doug Fister, Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark. Major League rosters do not rotate six pitchers, but rather five as you’ve probably gathered.
If the answer for the Nationals is to keep everyone, and make a run at a World Series with what would be the undisputed best rotation in baseball, that would likely mean Roark — who had a phenomenal 2014 season, going 15-10 with a 2.85 ERA and 1.092 WHIP — would get bumped to the bullpen.
But, if they don’t want to keep six starters (which is very possible), the Chicago Cubs would be a perfect landing spot for the young flamethrower.
What’s the Catch?
According to John Perrotto of USA Today, the Nationals and Strasburg can’t seem to get on the same page and it’s time for them to part ways.
— John Perrotto (@JPerrotto) January 19, 2015
Jonah Birenbaum of The Score is also reporting that the Nationals want to move on with Strasburg and check around the league to test the waters and see what kind of market is available to them.
Birenbaum states that there are three major players in the Strasburg sweepstakes that would make the most sense for the Nationals to trade to. The Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, and the Chicago Cubs are among the teams that have the firepower in their farm systems that can handle letting go of a few players in order to get Strasburg.
If this report is true, there is clearly something going on behind the scenes. Making a starting pitcher available is far from a surprise. The Nationals would be wise improve the future of their organization by trading from such an obvious strength. That being said, making Strasburg the guy who is available is very surprising.
In 109 career starts over the past five seasons, Strasburg has posted a sparkling 3.02 ERA with his 2.84 FIP suggesting that his success is not a fluke. Strasburg is a strong strikeout pitcher, who has struck out a career 10.3 batters per nine innings, while walking only 2.3 per nine. He has not only had sparkling early career success, but at only 26-years-old, the future is bright as well.
How Could the Cubs get him?
There is no doubt that Stephen Strasburg is one of the most talented pitchers in all of Major League Baseball. However, the asking price is surely going to be astronomically high, with only a few teams having the right mix of young talent to land such a prominent player.
While it is nearly impossible to guess what the trade value would be for someone like Strasburg; young, talented and cost-controlled middle infielders like Starlin Castro, Addison Russell and Javier Baez would certainly entice the Nationals, and would be a great start. One (or even two) of those three valuable players would only be the starting point, but the Cubs have recently been dubbed with having the second-best farm systems in the league. The depth throughout their system could allow the Nationals to pick them apart in exchange for Strasburg.
Trading for Strasburg would cause a huge uproar in Chicago, but in a great way.
If the Sporting News picked them to win the World Series this year, imagine how many people will jump on that bus if the Cubs get Strasburg as well? We’ll have to wait and see.
Hopefully we get to see this nasty curve-ball in a Cubs uniform on opening day.
1,211 total views, 1,211 views today