2) Cubs roster will not include Drew Smyly in 2023
Drew Smyly wasn’t an especially talked-about trade candidate for the Cubs this summer but he was definitely someone we could have seen them move under the right circumstances. He has a mutual option for the 2023 season with the team. As much as the Cubs might want to get out from the money they owe Kyle Hendricks instead, Smyly is far easier to move on from by not picking up their part of the option.
Smyly has been an effective arm for the Cubs in 2022 but they need to start looking elsewhere. Guys like Justin Steele have stepped up big this year and need to have innings. Keeping Smyly around isn’t a move that would fit well into the next phase of a rebuild. He’s more of a place-holder on the Cubs. On another team, like the 2021 Atlanta Braves, he was a nice short-term fit.
Roster spots like the one Smyly could occupy in 2023 should go to young arms the team wants to keep moving forward or fresh players brought in. With the idea that a fading Hendricks will still occupy one spot in the rotation alongside Marcus Stroman as two of the veterans, Chicago would do themselves a favor by adding someone who is more than guy they can flip at the 2023 trade deadline.
Smyly’s injury history should also have this team running scared. Picking up his option might just be asking for an IL stint.