They have a surfeit of pitching talent, but with Lieber questionable after a season-ending arm surgery this year, it would be nice to have a veteran presence to anchor the starting staff. But really, it doesn’t make sense. Maddux already makes $13 million and will probably want more, plus a long-term contract, which at 36 is of course a gamble.
Maddux had some back trouble this year that could be a sign of health troubles just beginning, though he’s been healthy throughout his entire career. Additionally, he does not depend on “stuff” to get by, but natural movement on his pitches. Today we see pitchers like Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens who continue pitching very well into their late 30s. If anyone else could do it, Maddux could.
With that signing, the Cubs would instantly have one of the best starting staffs in the major leagues: Maddux, Lieber, Wood, Prior and Clement. Then promising youngsters Zambrano and Cruz could anchor the bullpen and Bere could be traded for another middle reliever. But this is probably just wishful thinking. The Cubs need a third baseman (cuando?) and a solid left-handed middle reliever.
It would be cool, though, to have him finish his career here. The Cubs could be the Braves of this decade. They’ve got the young pitching talent, and if Choi, Patterson and Hill are what they’re supposed to be …