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Cubs seeking starting pitcher, left-handed outfield bat

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The fifth spot in the Cubs' rotation has been an issue and a left-handed hitting outfielder would reportedly be ideal.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago was not expected to be competitive in 2015 but at 44-36, the Cubs are hoping to make a postseason run. The club is expected to be active before the trade deadline, and according to FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi, the Cubs are primarily interested in adding a starting pitcher and left-handed outfield bat.

Kyle Hendricks, Jason Hammel, Jon Lester, and Jake Arrieta have all had success in Chicago's rotation however the fifth spot has been an issue. Tsuyoshi Wada has had success (3.73 ERA over 31.1 innings) but is currently on the disabled list for the second time this season and Travis Wood has had difficulty throwing strikes in seven starts. Clayton Richard was acquired from the Pirates and was solid in his Cubs debut against the Marlins on Saturday night however he might not establish himself as a consistent starting option.

As a result of questions within the rotation, Morosi adds, the Cubs' priority is adding a starter. The club would ideally like to acquire a controllable arm since it does not have a notable amount of depth within the upper levels of its minor league system. Cole Hamels could be an option for the Cubs since he is signed to a long-term deal and adding a top of the rotation starter would prevent Chicago from having to bid for top free agent pitchers, such as David Price, this winter. Johhny Cueto is seen as more of a rental player and as a result might not make sense for the Cubs.

In addition to adding a starting pitcher, the Cubs are interested in acquiring a left-handed outfield bat, according to Morosi. Jorge Soler was activated from the disabled list on Sunday but Chicago is still seeking an offensive upgrade. Dexter Fowler has struggled (.232/.308/.379 batting line through 77 contests) and Will Venable (.258/.316/.409) or Gerardo Parra (.306/.344/.467) could make sense for the Cubs.

Since Starlin Castro has been inconsistent, the Cubs might also consider adding a veteran infielder to complement Addison Russell up the middle. But Castro is due $41 million through the 2019 season and as a result likely would not draw a notable amount of interest.

The Cubs were not expected to be in contention heading into the All-Star break. But since they are only 8.5 games behind in the National League Central, a few moves could be made over the next few weeks.