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

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Andrew Miller

The perfect Joe Maddon type of pitcher. Versatile, quirky, and the Cubs already tried to acquire him once. Kyle Schwarber for Andrew Miller? Theo Epstein says ‘no’. Since becoming a full-time reliever back in 2012, Miller has posted an ERA over 3.00 just one time, and has posted an ERA of under 2.00 in consecutive years.

What might shy the Cubs away is not only the fact that he is 33, but he has battled injuries this year to a 4.40 ERA. If they believe they can get elite Miller back, the Cubs could take a chance at another outstanding bullpen arm.

Martin Maldonado

Ever since Willson Contreras has hit the big leagues, he has not had a consistent veteran back up behind him. Chris Gimenez is currently in that role. Maldonado is outstanding behind the plate and could really help Contreras take the next step forward in his game. Last season, Maldonado won the Gold Glove while posting 22 DRS behind the dish. In his career as a catcher, he has 64 DRS.

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His career slash line of .221/.292/.349 and a 73 wRC+ is typically what you see of a defense-first catcher. The Cubs don’t normally go this route, and Maldonado has been an everyday starter since joining the Angels, so he may not want a back up role. If the boys in blue are looking to shore up the role long-term, Maldonado is a guy who should be their first call.