Chicago Cubs: Would Lorenzo Cain be worth targeting this offseason?

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The leadoff position is something that is a concern moving forward for the Chicago Cubs. Could Lorenzo Cain be worth a look?

The slow offseason in baseball continues, and there are still plenty of big free agent names left unsigned. The Chicago Cubs have had spent the last two-and-a-half months linked to pitching. Their big moves so far, also all for pitching. Will there be any moves involving position players? If there is, it will likely be focusing on someone to lead off.

Since losing Dexter Fowler after 2016 there has been no stability atop the order. It was a revolving door of different guys in 2017 between the likes of Kyle Schwarber, Ben Zobrist, Jon Jay and even Anthony Rizzo. There is still no clear guy for 2018, so will there be a move for one?

Lorenzo Cain is currently a free agent and has had some very solid years in Kansas City. He is not a traditional “slappy” leadoff hitter type, but his on-base numbers the past few years have been solid and he is a good baserunner. Is there potential for the Cubs to sign him and plug him in at lead off?

The pros and cons

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Like previously mentioned, Cain is not a typical lead off hitter type. He has typically been a two-three guy in the order.  Last season in 155 games he slashed .300/.363/.440 with a UBR of 2.2 and a 4.1 fWAR. He also had a career 8.4 percent  walk rate last year, which is decent. Overall the last four seasons he has slashed .300/.352/.437 in 531 games and totals a 10.5 UBR and 17.9 fWAR.

Steals are not really important anymore, but at least worth noting he has 96 steals the past four years.

So is he worth it? While Cain is a very solid player, there are things to consider. He a 31-year-old center fielder who did battle hamstring issues two years ago. Cain is a very good defender, 92 defensive runs saved and a 71.5 UZR in his career, but leg issues are always a worry and the outfield is crowded already.

If Cain came in to play center, then what happens to Albert Almora? There would likely have to be more shifting or once again hold Almora back to a bench role. Many feel this is the year to give him the reins as the starting center fielder.

Also there is the matter of the cost. Reports coming from FanRag’s Jon Heyman have suggested that Cain would be seeking a four-year deal. The cost is up for speculation, but those years say he will not be very cheap. Signing Cain would be a multi-year commitment, unlike a Jon Jay-type player who would be much cheaper.

Next: Could the Cubs stay above water without Rizzo?

What are the chances the Cubs look deep into Cain?

Right now there really have not been many talks linking Cain and the Cubs together. It is possible that they have looked into it and it has not been reported. It is also possible they have not focused on position players yet. They might just not be even interested in Cain due to the cons discussed above.

It seems like the chances of Cain coming to Chicago are more towards unlikely, but not impossible. Shocking moves are always made by teams in an offseason. Even if there is a chance of it happening, it probably would not happen until after other pitching moves are made.