The Chicago Cubs are on a slow rebuild, and to get to their ultimate goal, they will be prudent with their free-agent signings.
President of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer have both said that financial flexibility is there for the Cubs, but they talked about the need to be efficient with that flexibility.
“We will have financial flexibility,” Hoyer said. “We’ve been diligent to make sure we do have flexibility and we’re efficient going forward. We’ll obviously be active in the free agent market. That’s a big part of our research and work now is evaluating free agents. We have some money to spend and we’ll focus on it heavily.”
That money is more likely to be invested in more high risk/high reward guys. Starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy certainly fits that description.
McCarthy's shoulder issues have been a concern ever since his debut back in 2005, and they were certainly an issue again in 2012. He spent time on the disabled list twice with shoulder woes before ending his season after being struck by a line drive.
McCarthy also has shown himself to be a very efficient pitcher during his two seasons with the Oakland Athletics, displaying a sharp command of the strike zone to go with his 3.29 ERA.
Teams will likely shy away from committing years and big dollars to McCarthy. But for the Cubs, the risk may be well worth the reward.