Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We here at Inside the Cubs hope you have a wonderful day with your family and are filled with gratitude! In addition, we would like to thank you, our reader, for keeping up with us since our launch in August.
So, without further ado, let’s get to the review!
Key Free Agent Reports
As we almost all know by now, the Chicago Cubs will be actively pursuing one of the big four free agent shortstops.
After the 2012 MLB Draft, the Cubs “loved” Carlos Correa, and now they have an opportunity to get him. Correa is only 28 years old, he is the youngest of all, but most likely he will have the biggest contract.
Some estimates range from eight years and $250 million to over $300 million. Regardless, the Cubs should be on Correa, which could kick-start their window of contention.
Here’s another shortstop that was linked with the Cubs before the 2022 MLB regular season ended. Turner’s speed and athleticism is something that is dreamed of and he is the prototype of a leading man.
Turner is likely to cost a little less than Correa, but not by much. Whether Chicago follows the path of Turner or Correa will depend on how Jed Hoyer feels that day. Both are electric, both will sell for a high price, and both will change the franchise.
As for Bogarts, it was reported that the Cubs met with his agent Scott Boras at GM meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada earlier this month. It’s worth noting that they’re in the shortstop market, but that sounds like nothing more than a tire kick.
The Cubs need a first baseman, and no one makes more sense than Abreu. Perhaps that is why one report named Abreu as Chicago’s “top priority” in the area of freedom of action. At 35, he won’t be signed to some sort of massive multi-year deal, which is likely to be positive for the club, but he’ll deliver great performance and is a former MVP winner.
Abreu has lost a bit of his bat over the past few years as his home run count has come down, but his ability to still hit the ball and put it in is just as good as ever. While there may not be a perfect match, Abreu is as close as it gets for this young Cubs team.
At first glance, this makes sense. Bellinger has just been out of the Los Angeles Dodgers tender and is looking for a one-year deal. His shoulder injury he suffered in 2020 still affected him in 2022, which could explain his significant fall from the 2019 MVP season to his near-unplayable 2022 season.
If Bellinger recovers, then the Cubs will succeed. As the Philadelphia Phillies testify, it only takes a team to make it to the playoffs to make a fuss. An improved Chicago team with a healthy Bellinger could do it in 2023. Maybe that’s why the Cubs are showing interest.
Vasquez is another player who makes sense for Chicago. He’s a true two-way catcher, as he’s proven throughout his career with the Boston Red Sox and most recently with the Houston Astros, with whom he won the World Series.
With the departure of Wilson Contreras, the Cubs will likely not want to start the season with Ian Gomez in the starting lineup. Vasquez’s career slash .261 / .310 / .386 is well above average for the catcher position. He has also received recognition for his defense and ability to call games.
It looks like a good fit, there are reports of interest, and it will cost less than Contreras.
Let’s start with this: yes, the Cubs have an interest, but every team has it.
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Okay, now the real problem standing in the way of this is years and dollars. Chicago does not want to delay the deal for more than five years. Judge will require at least six, and likely seven years of his next contract.
Does $40 million a year seem like too much for the Ricketts family? Well, the judge will want to get closer to that.
On top of all that, yes, Judge makes sense.
Who knows, maybe Chicago is really going above and beyond and offering a higher AAV deal in fewer years and it gets the job done.
Jacob de Grom
The Cubs are ready to extend DeGrom’s three-year contract, according to a new report. This is the minimum number of years it will take for a deal to close, and AAV must be at or above the three-year, $130 million Max Scherzer deal.
It would be reasonable to assume that deGrom could earn a $150 million salary over three years. Again, yes, there are reports of interest, and yes, contract years do make sense. But financial capital?
This remains to be seen.
There haven’t been any reports of real interest between the Cubs and Verlander yet, but I think there should be. I wrote an entire article on why Verlander is perfect, and it goes something like this:
Yes, he is 39 years old, but his recent performances and peripherals show no signs of slowing down. It’ll only take two years, cost less than deGrom, and his ability to mentor young players in the rotation like Justin Steel, Javier Asad and Hayden Vesnesky is indispensable.
This is a good read and if you have any doubts about Verlander this might just change your mind.
Just pay the person. If you look at the situation as a whole, he is the best income for Chicago.
Chances and endings
There was some grumbling about the potential interest in center fielder Kevin Kiermeier. He may be in good shape, but his age and injury history are worrisome.
Miami Marlins starter Pablo Lopez is in the trade, and he’s a good fit for the Cubs’ rotation. He fit perfectly into the group of young guys who will form the backbone for many years to come. But the price tag in terms of prospects may be too steep.
Finally, pitcher David Robertson may be back, and starter Corey Kluber is reportedly on Chicago’s radar.
And it’s all people! We hope you all have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!
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