3 former Chicago Cubs who could come back this offseason

Cardinals, Jose Quintana

Aug 4, 2022; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jose Quintana (63) pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs will have plenty of new faces on their 2023 squad, but could any former North Siders return to Wrigley next season?

The Cubs continue to replenish the farm system, which has been their primary goal since Jed Hoyer took over to lead baseball operations. Chicago’s 2016 World Series team is in the distant past at this point, with very few players remaining from what most fans can now confidently say were the glory days.

Chicago avoided losing 100 games for just the fourth time in franchise history, but at the same time they remain far from postseason contention, and were among the first teams eliminated from that conversation. This team, as currently constructed, will not be the next great Cubs squad.

But could some familiar faces be on the way back to the North Side to help?

Cubs rumors: Could Jose Quintana return this offseason?

Jose Quintana had a brutal first stint on the north side of Chicago, as he was dealt in one of the worst crosstown trades in recent memory. The Cubs gave up an arm and a leg for Quintana, and he did not reward them in the slightest.

Since then, Quintana’s career path has been a complicated one. He took a turn for the worst, but signed on as a reclamation project in Pittsburgh, where he excelled. Last year, he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals at the deadline and proved to be an exceptional part of their starting rotation in a pennant chase. This offseason, he’s in line to get paid.

The Cubs lack rotation depth, as there isn’t much hope behind Jason Steele and Marcus Stroman. Quintana, who should be well within Jed Hoyer’s price range, would make for a reliable veteran arm David Ross could slot in the top half of his rotation in 2023. He can likely be had on a short-term contract, as well.

Quintana finished his 2022 season with a 2.93 ERA and 1.213 WHIP — easily his best campaign since his lone All-Star appearance in 2016 with the Chicago White Sox. If he’s open to a return to the Windy City, the Cubs should pounce.

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