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TODAY IS Thursday September 20th
Cubs assess needs while waiting for Darvish to return
Saturday Jul 07, 2018 12:00am

(CHICAGO) – Cubs president Theo Epstein says the front office is still assessing its July trade needs as the team awaits the return of right-hander Yu Darvish from the disabled list. Darvish has been out six weeks with an elbow issue and is seemingly back to square one in his rehab. Darvish, 31, was on his way to returning, but a rehab start in the minors followed by a bullpen session didn't go well, as he felt pain in his elbow. The Cubs say an end-of-the-month return is possible, but they won't put a timetable on it until he's throwing again. His status affects the Cubs' trade needs, at least a little bit, according to Epstein. The team is already in the market for a reliever or two, but could a starter be on its wish list as well? And would Chicago have the wherewithal to acquire one who could start a potential playoff game? Although ranked fifth in ERA in the National League, the Cubs' rotation has underachieved, outside of Jon Lester. It's 12th in innings pitched and first in walks, although most of that damage is due to Tyler Chatwood, who leads the league in free passes. Either way, Epstein all but ruled out acquiring a bat. The Cubs' biggest current need is a left-hander for their bullpen, as former swingman Mike Montgomery is entrenched in the rotation while Brian Duensing has struggled and is on the disabled list.

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