The big-ticket free agents in baseball’s 2011 free agent class -- prolific power hitters Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder – are on the offensive side of things, but look for the Chicago Cubs to target pitching when the team begins weighing offseason transactions.
“I think it’s too early to say [who the team will look at in free agency],” Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said at his introductory news conference Tuesday. “But I do think it’s fair to say we have to spend some time rebuilding the pitching staff. I look at what happened last year from the outside with them losing two starters the first week of the season. It’s very difficult for any team to survive that, but the Cubs didn’t have the depth to do that. Even though we have confidence in some of the starters, we have a need to add more.”
Texas free agent C.J. Wilson is considered the top pitcher available on the market, after posting a 16-7 mark with the American League champions in 2011. Agent sources tell ESPNChicago.com that Wilson will be looking for a five- or six-year deal that they estimate will go over $100 million.
It’s still hard to tell at this point if the Cubs will spend that kind of money on one pitcher instead of opting to add several smaller pieces.
“Injuries can never be an excuse for a bad season,” Hoyer said. “You have to make sure that you have depth to avoid the inevitable and survive.”