3 backup plans Cubs need to pursue if Marcus Stroman reunion falls short

Marcus Stroman is now officially a free agent. If the Cubs are unable to keep him, here are three starters they could pursue to fill the void.
Chicago Cubs v Atlanta Braves
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2. Sign Aaron Nola

Aside from Yamamoto, Aaron Nola may be the next best thing.

With the Philadelphia Phillies, Nola won 12 games this year, but he had an ERA of 4.46. That is certainly a concern for any team that tries to sign him.

However, he still packs a punch as a top starter, having struck out 202 batters during the regular season and averaged 9.4 per nine innings.

The popular consensus is that Nola will actually leave the Phillies this offseason, according to Bob Nightengale. Nightengale does not list the Cubs as a possibility, but given their market and their resources, they certainly cannot be counted out of the Nola sweepstakes entirely.

Nola brings great postseason experience that could benefit the Cubs if they choose to pursue and sign him. The Cubs have not reached the postseason since the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign, and not in a full season since 2018.

For a team that finished just one game back in the Wild Card race, the addition of a true ace could be what ultimately gets them over the hump in 2024.

Free agency is one of many avenues the team could pursue as they look to build off of 2023.