Cubs still looking to add pitching following addition of Wade MileyRussell Dorseyon November 10, 2021 at 2:32 am

FILE – Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Wade Miley delivers during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh on Sept. 14, 2021. Miley was claimed off waivers by the Chicago Cubs from Cincinnati on Friday, Nov. 5, a surprising cost-cutting move by the Reds. A left-hander who turns 35 on Nov. 13, Miley was 12-7 with a 3.37 ERA in 28 starts, and he threw his first career no-hitter in a 3-0 win at Cleveland on May 7. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File) ORG XMIT: NYDB501 | Gene J. Puskar, AP Photos

Hoyer added on Tuesday that the Cubs would like to add different looks to their pitching staff, including power arms.

CARLSBAD, Calif. — President Jed Hoyer has talked in the past about being opportunistic as a team when players you value become available. In the case of Wade Miley, the left-hander being on waivers for the Cubs not only allowed them to capitalize on that, but also help them attack their top priority this winter.

The Cubs picked up Miley’s one year, $10 million option on Sunday, officially making him part of their 2022 rotation. Miley, 34, had a strong year for the Reds last season, going 12-7 with a very respectable 3.37 ERA in 28 starts.

“I think we try not to be surprised, but yeah, I would say we were excited when he was on waivers,” Hoyer said on Tuesday. “I guess the “benefit” of being high up in the order is we knew we had a real shot at it. We had a lot of conversations for two days do as much research as we could get, we were excited to land him.”

Hoyer was not shy when the offseason began about the need to add arms as the Cubs ranked near the bottom of almost every major category as a staff last season. The addition of Miley is a strong start to strengthening their biggest weakness, but it won’t be the end.

“We talked about needing to add innings this winter,” Hoyer said. “The need to add quality starting pitching, quality pitching throughout, and to be able to do that in early November was exciting for us to start that process. It’s certainly not the end of that process, it was a great way to start up.”

Besides right-hander Kyle Hendricks, Miley now feels like a lock for next year’s starting staff. But with a desire to add more pitching via trade or free agency, the future of Alec Mills, Keegan Thompson, Justin Steele and Adbert Alzolay is less clear.

The acquisition of Miley adds an additional left-hander to a rotation that was very right-handed until Steele’s arrival in the rotation. But it also adds another redundancy in the team’s rotation of pitchers who are command/control arms.

While there’s always a need for pitchers who can attack the strike zone, balancing that with pitchers who can miss bats is also something the Cubs need more of moving forward.

“You love guys that know how to pitch and how to get outs,” Hoyer said. “But you’re also putting a tremendous pressure on your defense and a fair amount of luck, as well. I think that we have to get away from that. Finding guys that can get good swings-and-misses in different profiles. We’ve had a lot of very similar profiles in the last few years.

“I do think we have to find some different looks and some of that comes with some more power.”

Every team is looking for starting pitching in the winter, which makes it expensive. While names like Max Scherzer or Justin Verlander won’t be walking through the door, other available arms like Jon Gray, Anthony DeSclafani, Carlos Rodon and Kevin Gausman are available. Each had strikeout rates above 20% last season and only Gausman has a qualifying offer attached to him.

If the Cubs signed a player with a qualifying offer, they would lose their second-highest selection in ’22 Draft, $500,000 from international bonus pool for upcoming signing period. If they signed two players with rejected QOs, they’d also lose their third-highest remaining pick and additional $500,000.

“It’s certainly something we have to factor in,” Hoyer said. “You just have to weigh it accordingly as you think through it. I wouldn’t go past that, it’s just something that is a calculus that we have to do if we’re gonna if we’re gonna swim in those waters.”

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