Chicago Cubs Rumors: A look at the current outfield free agent market

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs: Adam Eaton, David Dahl signings give us something to work with

The big question regarding the Cubs and potential outfield replacements is how much the team is willing to spend. If I had to take my guess, I’d say not much.

This past week saw potential free agent targets agree to deals with other teams. Adam Eaton signed a one-year $8 million dollar contract with the White Sox, and David Dahl inked a one-year $3 million agreement with the Rangers.

Eaton is 31 years old and has a career slash line of .282/.360/.416 in nine MLB seasons. The outfielder battled injuries in 2020 and posted a career-low .226 batting average in 41 games. Now, he is far from a “face of the franchise”, but he’s the type of spark every winning team needs, and played a large role in Washington’s championship-run.

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Eaton World Series statistics: (7 games) .320 BA 2 HR 5 R 4 BB 1 SB .993 OPS

Dahl also struggled this past season, slashing .183/.222/.247 with zero home runs in 24 games. Still at 26 years old Dahl carries upside for a cheap price. In 2019, the young outfielder hit .302 with 16 home runs and was named to the NL All-Star Team as a member of the Rockies.

While both players would have been nice additions for a low cost, there wasn’t much talk linking either outfielder to the North Side. Eaton and Dahl will cash-in on a near identical salary from a season ago despite their recent struggles.

Eaton 2020 salary: $9.5 million+$1.5 million team buyout

Dahl 2020 salary: $2.475 million

Maybe it’s still too early to tell, but one has to think if these two players were paid based on the high-upside of their past, the same will go for other free-agent outfielders who are in the same situation. The one-year contract with a similar salary from last season will likely be a common theme for other players coming off poor 2020 campaigns, including a few ex-Cubs.

Regardless, at some point the Cubs need to bring in a player or two for some help in the outfield, or maybe they don’t believe so.

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