Cubs may move Soler for starting pitcher

Club reportedly has discussions with Padres about Ross and Indians about Carrasco, Salazar

Cubs may move Soler for starting pitcher

CHICAGO -- Jason Heyward, John Lackey, Ben Zobrist now are Cubs. Who's next?

According to reports, the Cubs are still in the market for another starting pitcher, and may be dangling outfielder Jorge Soler to teams. The Cubs have reportedly had discussions with the Padres regarding Tyson Ross and the Indians about Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar.

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The No. 1 goal this offseason was to bolster the pitching, and Chicago's rotation did get a boost with Lackey. But general manager Jed Hoyer has repeatedly said they need to be prepared for the worst, and don't feel they have enough depth in the organization. Top pitching prospects such as Duane Underwood and Pierce Johnson are at least one year away.

The Cubs did acquire right-hander Adam Warren from the Yankees in the Starlin Castro deal, signed lefty Rex Brothers and need to finalize a deal with Trevor Cahill. They know they were lucky in 2015 as none of their starters missed significant time, and end result was the third-best pitching staff in the National League.

Heyward has primarily played right field, and the 26-year-old, who reportedly signed an eight-year, $184 million deal with the Cubs, would stay in right if Soler was dealt. But the Cubs most likely want Heyward to fill the void in center created by Dexter Fowler's departure.

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Soler, 23, is an attractive chip after batting .262 with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs in 101 games. Both the outfielder and Javier Baez would fit what the Indians are looking for. Carrasco, 28, was 14-12 with a 3.63 ERA in 30 games, and Salazar, 25, was 14-10 with a 3.45 ERA in 30 starts. Salazar struck out 195 over 185 innings.

The Padres' Ross, 28, was 10-12 with a 3.26 ERA in 33 starts last season.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.