Coming off a 97-win season, the Cubs aren’t messing around. After adding John Lackey and Ben Zobrist over the past week, the club has reportedly agreed to an eight-year, $184 million contract with free agent outfielder Jason Heyward. But they aren’t stopping there.
According to FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi, the Cubs are discussing trades for starting pitching. Specifically, they have talked to the Padres about Tyson Ross and the Indians about Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. These aren’t new names, but the Heyward signing could make the possibility more likely.
The Cubs currently project to have Heyward in center field, with Jorge Soler in right field and Kyle Schwarber in left. However, any trade for a starter would almost certainly involve someone like Soler or Javier Baez. Assuming the Cubs were to deal Soler, they could put Heyward in right field and either re-sign Dexter Fowler or pursue another free agent like Denard Span.
It’s worth noting that the Cubs were also reportedly talking to the Rays about a trade earlier this week, possibly targeting Alex Cobb, though it’s unclear if that’s still a possibility. Those discussions came before the Zobrist signing.
Giants closer Hunter Strickland had an ugly top of the ninth inning Monday night against the Marlins. He allowed three runs, serving up a walk, a double, another walk, and two singles. The Marlins overcome a 4-2 deficit and went on to win 5-4.
Unhappy with his performance, Strickland punched a door and fractured his pitching hand. He will undergo surgery and will miss six to eight weeks, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
That’s a huge loss for the Giants, as Strickland has been terrific, Monday’s start notwithstanding. He carries a 2.84 ERA with 13 saves and a 29/13 K/BB ratio in 31 2/3 innings. Manager Bruce Bochy said Tony Watson or Sam Dyson will fill in at closer while Strickland is out, per Pavlovic.
Bochy said that he is “disappointed” and “crushed” about Strickland’s injury, noting that the right-hander had grown a lot as a pitcher and as a person, Pavlovic adds.
Strickland has a problem with anger, it appears. He exacted revenge on Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper last year, throwing a 98 MPH fastball at him, then punched him in the head when the two brawled. Strickland wanted revenge because, in the 2014 playoffs, Harper stared at a home run he hit off of Strickland.