The Chicago Cubs have several questions surrounding their rotation as they head into the offseason.
Justin Steele has established himself as a potential star, but that is the only potential given in the rotation. Jameson Taillon was mediocre at best. Javier Assad showed promise when he moved into the rotation but is not a known quantity. Marcus Stroman and Kyle Hendricks have options for 2024 and could leave the Cubs behind. The Cubs rotation could undergo significant changes.
Chicago Cubs may find rotation stability after all
But that may not be the case. Patrick Mooney of The Athletic reported that both Hendricks and Stroman are “expected” to be part of the Cubs in 2024. The Cubs hold a $14.5 million option on Hendricks for 2024, a price that makes sense given the current market for starting pitching. Stroman would likely receive more than his $21 million salary for 2024 in free agency, but he struggled after the All Star break and has been clear that he wants an extension with the Cubs. The door was reportedly left open for such a deal and opting in for next year could help those talks.
Both pitchers should make an impact in Chicago next season. Stroman may not be the pitcher he was at the start of 2023, but he is a perfect second or third starter. Hendricks has been a steady presence in the back of the rotation.
There are some potential luxury tax implications. The Cubs payroll would sit at approximately $200 million should both options be picked up. However, the Cubs are also looking to end their rebuild and return to the postseason. Having another year of Stroman and Hendricks would help in that quest. It will then be a question of how much ownership is willing to spend on the roster around them.
Marcus Stroman and Kyle Hendricks were expected to leave the Chicago Cubs behind this offseason. That may no longer be the case.