Chicago Cubs: Addressing the Cubs’ free agency plan
The best part of the MLB offseason, free agents and speculating their future destinations. David Price was expected to be the first domino to fall, and sure enough, as he went to the Red Sox on a 7-year, $217 million dollar deal.
Prior to signing with Boston, the Chicago Cubs were the favorite to sign Price based on his history with Joe Maddon. Now, with Price out-of-the-way, where do the Cubs go from here in free agency?
They have a couple of options. Theo Epstein & Jed Hoyer have made it clear they want to address starting pitching, and center field. According to Ken Rosenthal, The Cubs will be in on John Lackey heavily now, if this tweet means anything.
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Peter Gammons suggested on MLB Tonight on Thursday night, that the Cubs could also be in on Shelby Miller, and perhaps even finish the deal, and both would be upgraded to the back of the rotation.
The Cubs could also be looking to be making a splash with a big signing, and a Jeff Samardzija reunion may be in the works, but, the caveat is the Cubs only have about $20-30 mil to spend this year, which is why a trade for a young, cost-controlled starter might be the best option.
Some of the better options for young pitchers available for trade are Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar, Shelby Miller, Julio Teheran, and Tyson Ross. Chicago definitely has the right pieces to acquire any of these pitchers, but the question is are they willing to let them go?
Any deal will most likely start with young stud Jorge Soler, but there may not be quite a fit there, reports Jerry Crasnick. That may lead them to go after the not as well-known, but still very good Ross. He may not be as expensive as the others, so that could be an option.
The other position the Cubs want to make a move at is center field. Dexter Fowler is departed, and now they could go a number of ways.
They could sign a veteran like Denard Span, as a bridge to top prospect Albert Almora, or they could go megadeal with current free agent Jason Heyward, whom they have been linked to on a couple of occasions. Ken Rosenthal stated in a recent article that the Cubs may go after Heyward, or even bring back Dexter Fowler.
He also mentions that Heyward only becomes available if a guy like Soler is traded. If all else fails, the Cubs could very well look internally for a center fielder, perhaps shifting Javier Baez or even young superstar Kris Bryant to center field to fill the void.
The Cubs certainly have a lot of options, but only Theo Epstein knows what this organization is going to do going forward.