Cubs Rumors: Signing Kolten Wong a distinct possibility this winter

Javier Baez, Kolten Wong Chicago CubsMandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Javier Baez, Kolten Wong Chicago CubsMandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cubs have plenty of work ahead of them over the offseason, and adding another infielder may be on their to-do list.

Following the 2015 campaign, Jason Heyward made the jump to the Chicago Cubs. The Gold Glove right fielder spent just one season in St. Louis. Of course, he later etched his name into Cubs lore with his now-famous speech during the rain delay in Game 7 of the World Series.

With Chicago possibly looking to add depth at second base, what are the odds Heyward recruits Kolten Wong? According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Wong, a two-time Gold Glove winning free agent, has already had six teams approach him.

While the idea of adding Wong to the roster is enough to make your mouth water, the odds of it happening are slim. It is no surprise the Cubs are looking to cut payroll, possibly going as far as trading a few contracts in the process.

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If by some miracle it did happen, imagine what this infield would look like. Earlier this week, it was announced both Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo earned Gold Glove honors for 2020.

For Rizzo, it was his second while Baez earned his first. Add Wong to the mix, and the Cubs would have the best defensive infield in the division. Take a second to picture how clean those double-plays would look: absolutely beautiful.

Now back to reality. The Cardinals decided to buy out Wong’s club option for 2021, thus making him a free agent. Doing so put his name in a pool with former Cubs infielders Tommy La Stella, DJ LeMahieu and Jason Kipnis – along with others, including Cesar Hernandez, and Jonathan Schoop.

Right off the bat, you expect LeMahieu to be the most sought-after talent on that list. The 32-year-old received a qualifying offer from the Yankees but may test the waters of free agency. If Wong has heard from six teams this early, you can only imagine how many will be lining up for LeMahieu.

This is where money, yet again, comes into play. Holding off on spending would put David Bote and Nico Hoerner battling it out for the everyday second base position. The competition has slimmed following the team declining Daniel Descalso’s club option for 2021.

Still, the safest and cheapest option they have when it comes to veteran free-agent second base depth is Kipnis. However, the Cubs could wind up being one of the six teams connected to Wong.

The offensive production while comparing Kipnis to Wong tilts in favor of the former Cardinal. He just hit two fewer home runs than the veteran in 2020. In 67 more at-bats, Wong tallied 48 hits, four doubles, two triples, and 16 RBI behind a .265/.350/.326/.675 batting line.

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The longtime Cardinals infielder also struck out only 30 times to Kipnis’ 41. There obviously won’t be any mega-signings to this team anytime soon unless it is a contract extension for Baez or Bryant. So why not dream about the possibility of another Gold Glove division rival coming to the North Side?