Cubs Rumors: Seattle has a lot of ideal targets to focus on
Let’s take a step back and look at the Cubs’ biggest needs. Depending on what they do with Addison Russell, they need a middle infielder. Even if they decided to hold onto him (which I don’t think they should) – you can’t go into 2019 with Mike Freeman as your backup middle infielder.
A veteran backup catcher (which won’t come from Seattle), potentially a more prototypical leadoff hitter and impact bullpen arms headline the team’s wish list this winter. It just so happens most of those boxes could be checked in a deal with the Mariners.
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We talked about Dee Gordon as a potential fit recently – and depending on who you ask, it’s either a great idea or one of the worst ever proposed. He’s got the speed the Cubs have lacked of late but has been pretty erratic when it comes to getting on base. (In the last four years, his on-base percentage has been as high as .351 and as low as .288 – so who knows what you’re getting). He also plays multiple positions – so if someone like Happ went to Seattle in a deal, the Cubs don’t lose much in terms of versatility, either.
Edwin Diaz, the team’s All-Star closer who finished eighth in AL Cy Young voting, could be the stopped the Cubs sorely need. That’s not a knock on Brandon Morrow, but the right-hander’s health is a huge concern right now. Diaz gives you a guy coming off a 57-save season under team control through 2023.
Lastly (and make no mistake, there are more pieces than these three that could help the Cubs in 2019) – the team could ask on Jean Segura. We know the Yankees asked about the Mariners infielder in their talks for Paxton – but nothing came of the discussions.
Such a trade, of course, likely means Russell is on his way out of town. But Segura is coming off his third-straight .300+ average campaign in which he got on base at a minimum of a .341 clip. At just 28 years old with long-term control, he could be the answer the Cubs need at the shortstop position.