The Chicago Cubs go into this off-season with their top priority being finding a power hitting first baseman or right fielder, one who preferably is left handed. Leading up to this point, the Chicago Cubs were expected to be early favorites to land Adam Dunn in free agency. As some say, Dunn is the Cubs highest priority this off-season. However, the Chicago Cubs might be having second thoughts about Dunn, and could be looking at other options. According to John Finger of CSN Philadelphia, the Chicago Cubs are expected to make a presentation to free agent to be Jayson Werth.
"The numbers are definitely there for Werth and there are a few teams that have the cash to spend that the Phillies probably won’t. The Yankees and Red Sox will probably make a presentation. So too will the Cubs and Angels. CSN Philly"
At 31, Werth is coming off of a year in which his run production is down, but he did have career highs in slugging(.532) and on base(.388)percentage. His overall lined ended up being .296/.388/.532 with 27 home runs and 85 runs driven in. Werth is capable of playing Center Field and Right Field, however, Center Field is probably where he is best at.
Werth also figures to have a hefty salary increase once he hits free agency, five days after the World Series concludes. He made $7.5MM this season, and it is expected that he is looking for a multi-year contract worth around $15MM+ per season. However, the market for Werth won’t truly be known until after Carl Crawford is off the free agent market.
However, I would imagine that the Chicago Cubs might not be able to meet the demands that Werth and his agent, Scott Boras, are asking for. You have to figure that if the Cubs are struggling to find $13MM to go after Adam Dunn, they would be in an even worse situation to try and find the money for Jayson Werth.
Compared to Adam Dunn, Jayson Werth is the much better fit for the Chicago Cubs. First, Werth hits for a higher average while still being a quality run producer and playing above average defense. Whereas, Adam Dunn is strictly a power hitter, and would be a major liability on Defense. An area where the Chicago Cubs have struggled this season. So while Werth may be worth a little bit more money, he definitely offers more value than Adam Dunn would.
The Chicago Cubs would be in an interesting situation if they were to go after Werth. Because, then that would probably cause ripple effects on the current Cubs roster. For starters, Tyler Colvin will probably become the teams starting first baseman instead of the starting right fielder, and gives the Cubs the left handed hitter that they want at first. In addition, the Chicago Cubs would have to decided who would play center field and who would play right field between Marlon Byrd, and Jayson Werth. Like I mentioned before, Werth’s strongest position is center field. So, the Cubs may then move Byrd over to right field.
We are still about a month away from free agency, as it starts five days after the conclusion of the World Series.