Chicago Cubs: Ben Zobrist and many others will be free agents soon
Starting next offseason several current Cubs will or could become free agents (depending on contract options). Cole Hamels, Pedro Strop, Ben Zobrist, Steve Cishek, Brandon Morrow, Brad Brach, Brian Duensing and Brandon Kintzler could all hit the open market.
Perhaps Duensing and/or Kintzler won’t win a spot in the bullpen out of Spring Training this year. But if that does happen, it’s a strong possibility the player who ends up with those spots in the bullpen will also become a free agent after the 2019 season (based on the list above).
Some of those free agents might be re-sign for less than they are making right now. If Zobrist doesn’t retire, he will definitely cost less per year on his next contract. His current contract pays him much more than the current going rate. The Cubs were unable to trade him away – although, we still don’t know the level of talks that occurred regarding the utility man.
Re-signing all of the free agent Cubs after 2019 will likely be too expensive. Many of those players will demand multi-year contracts. If the market continues to collapse, the Cubs may be able to afford more of them than we would have thought a couple of years ago. But this will undoubtedly be one of the main storylines as the season progresses.