Chicago Cubs: A way-too-early look at this winter’s free agent class

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(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
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Manny Machado

Here’s a rumor that’s been gaining more steam in recent weeks. First, there was the announcement in the offseason that Dan Duquette wanted to trade Machado in the last year of his deal. The Cubs, White Sox and Cardinals all inquired, but no deal could be reached. The Cubs continued those talks into the regular season, but have since died down.

Those three teams will be among the main suitors in the offseason, as well. Earlier this week, the Arizona Diamondbacks also emerged as a suitor. With Machado, it is simple. He is an elite third baseman, above-average shortstop, and an elite power hitter.

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The Cubs already have an elite defensive shortstop and an above-average third baseman, along with Javy Baez, who is elite at third and an average defender at short. The Cubs are fine along the infield, but when a generational player like Machado comes along, it’s hard to pass that opportunity up.

Craig Kimbrel

A bit unlikely, since the Cubs’ bullpen is already really good and Brandon Morrow has been very good in his own right. But like any other position, there is a chance to shore up a position and make it even better than it was.

Kimbrel has a career ERA of under 2.00, and over 300 saves. He’s only 30. An argument can be made for him as the best reliever in baseball. He likely stays in Boston or might even go back to his original organization, the Braves.

Still, Morrow setting up Kimbrel? We wouldn’t mind seeing that at Wrigley Field next summer.