The Cubs head into the offseason with a few question marks. As always the bullpen is always a topic of conversation, while looking to add a star free agent bat will be at the top of the list for the front office. Yet, the Cubs will go into 2019, with an awesome-looking starting rotation.

A year ago at this time, we were wondering what the rotation would look like, as Jake Arrieta and John Lackey were pending free agents. The answer was Yu Darvish and Tyler Chatwood added in free agency and well through year one that was a complete failure.

But you move on and if you go by the track record everything is going to be fine with Darvish. He’ll be ready to go in spring training and will contribute a lot more than his eight starts in 2018. Because of the injury and just bad performance you can make the argument that Darvish heads into 2019, as the Cubs’ fifth starter on paper.

So, in 2018, Chatwood was the No. 5 starter. To start 2019, Chatwood is probably option number three for the last spot in the starting five.

Cole Hamels has an option in his contract for 2019, and he’s already said that he’d love to remain in a Cubs’ uniform. Theo Epstein reciprocated the feelings in his press conference last week, so let’s pencil Hamels into the rotation.

That means the Cubs will have the following starting pitchers under contract to start 2019.

Jon Lester
Kyle Hendricks
Cole Hamels
Jose Quintana
Yu Darvish

Plus, these guys will be around for depth.

Mike Montgomery
Drew Smyly
Tyler Chatwood
Alec Mills

And there’s also the chance that the Cubs could re-sign Jesse Chavez. He was a savior in the bullpen during the final two months, but he also has experience starting games. It’s possible he can be another emergency option as a starting pitcher if there are injuries to the rotation.

All those options and we haven’t even gotten to some of the pitching prospects in the minors, most notably Adbert Alzolay, who unfortunately had his 2018 season cut short because of injury.

So, the Cubs might be busy in the offseason, but don’t expect much of anything to change in the starting rotation.