Chicago Cubs: How the Stanton deal will influence next year’s free agency

MIAMI, FL - JULY 11: Giancarlo Stanton
MIAMI, FL - JULY 11: Giancarlo Stanton /

The New York Yankees scored a blockbuster in landing Giancarlo Stanton–but it will come at a price. While the Yankees may have removed themselves from the Bryce Harper talks next winter, they might have moved the Chicago Cubs up the list.

Of course, we can’t predict what the Chicago Cubs will do next offseason. We can’t even predict what will happen this year. It doesn’t stop us from giving our opinions on it, though. But with the New York Yankees landing Giancarlo Stanton, they might have very well taken themselves out of play for Bryce Harper or other free agent targets next winter.

The Yankees were thought to be the frontrunner for Shohei Ohtani–until they weren’t included in the final seven teams. The New York media called Ohtani “a chicken” for passing on the Yankees. They claimed he was afraid of playing in a larger market. Chicago is just as big–and was one of the finalists. So the Yankees figured, well, “let’s go spend all our money” to prove a point.


Yep. That should do it. So it seems that the club that is always in the running for the same players as the Cubs might have been forced to tap out for next years free agents. Or they’ll be faced with paying the luxury tax. Either way, the Cubs may have a leg up in wooing possible free agents. Especially without the Yankees pressing their nose in.

When you look to the 2018-19 free agent class, it is LOADED with talent. Harper, Clayton Kershaw, Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson and more populate the list. And none of the current top-20 on this list is on the Yankees. Which means the Yankees will need to deal from their existing stock of minor leaguers if they need help, or hope they all come along quickly.

Always the bridesmaid…

Gleyber Torres was on his way up, which was likely the reason for including Starlin Castro in the Stanton deal. Poor Castro. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Once again with a talented prospect (and oddly, a former Cubs prospect) behind him, he was chased out of New York.

Some may feel the Cubs are missing out by not being more active in this year’s offseason. The Winter Meetings are upon us, so there’s still time to make a move. But it is possible the Cubs could do very little this winter, signing guys to “fill the holes.”  All while waiting for next year’s class.

I can’t say for sure that Harper wants to come to the Cubs, or if he’s merely trolling us on social media. He may really want to play for the Cubs. They have a young core (which he’d become part of), three straight playoff appearances, and money to do what they need.

Next: Yankees land Stanton in blockbuster

For years, the Cubs could only get guys who were looking for a last hurrah or hoping to turn their career’s around. Now, there’s no reason to think that any free agent–this season or next–wouldn’t at least want to see what the Cubs can offer

Many of the big moves may have come before we even get to the Winter Meetings. PLayers will still sign, and the Cubs will be a part of that. But I’m not so confident that you’ll see trades for Addison Russell, Javier Baez or Kyle Schwarber happen. Epstein keeps his cards close to the chest, so I could be wrong. But he most certainly won’t get caught up in the “how dare this guy won’t come here” thinking that the Yankees did. That’s a recipe for disaster.