Cubs Rumors: The latest Corey Seager rumor is enough to grab our attention

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Corey Seager has been linked to the Chicago Cubs more than any other notable free agent so far this offseason. Even more so than previous core players such as Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez or Kris Bryant.

Based on reports, it seems like the Yankees and Mets desire to bring Rizzo and Baez back, respectively. To put it mildly, the shortstop position is far from settled for the Cubs – even with Nico Hoerner in the mix and set to be at 100 percent for spring training. Seager is among the biggest names in this winter’s loaded free agent class, and is joined by Carlos Correa, Marcus Semien, Trevor Story and Baez. It is very early, but the Seager rumors raise some eyebrows.

Last week’s Mark Feinsand listed the Cubs as a suitor for Seager. He added Chicago should “test the waters” this offseason for a shortstop. As mentioned before, Hoerner being the everyday shortstop, at least right now, isn’t the plan given his injury history. That’s not to say Hoerner will not be a part of the team because he certainly should and will be, it just might not be as the Cubs’ starting shortstop.

Back to Seager, Feinsand listed several other suitors along with the Cubs including the Dodgers, Tigers, Rangers, Yankees and Phillies. However, Feinsand is not the only report to link the Cubs and Seager. CBS reporter R.J. Anderson predicted the Cubs would wind up being the team to sign the 27-year-old shortstop. He added Seager might have to transition from shortstop and that is easier to do on a rebuilding Cubs team than the Dodgers who look to contend yet again in 2022.

It was pointed out by Brett Taylor of Bleacher Nation that Anderson was the one who last season reported the trade interest between the Cubs and Padres involving Yu Darvish before the deal went down. While these are predictions and rumors and the offseason remains very young, there seems to be something solid about the idea of Seager coming to Chicago.

Why Corey Seager is a risky but worthy investment for the Chicago Cubs

Seager’s talent is not the question by any means. Since coming up at age 21 in 2015, Seager has hit .297/.367/.504 with an .870 OPS, 104 home runs, 164 doubles, 132 wRC+ and is a 23.7 fWAR player. His 2020 postseason was one for the ages as he won MVP honors in both the NLCS and World Series, combining for 17 hits in 13 games including seven home runs and 16 RBI.

The Cubs would love to have a power-hitting, lefty run producer. Guys like Willson Contreras, Patrick Wisdom and Frank Schwindel are righties with Ian Happ being a switch hitter. Even just taking the side of the plate out of the equation, adding more power is a must. Seager has 20+ home run and 40+ double capabilities. He will certainly sign a multi-year deal (likely in the 10-year range), so if the team does not contend in 2022, this is the chance to at least establish a centerpiece for the team’s future in 2023 and beyond.

The risk? His lengthy injury history. Going back to 2018 he has only played in 100+ games once (note that 2020 was the 60-game COVID season). He missed all but 26 games in 2018 with elbow and hip issues, played in 186 out of a possible 222 games from 2019-2020, but only played in 95 games in 2021 due to a hand fracture. It’s worth noting the hand injury was due to getting hit by a pitch, so he did not re-injure a damaged part of his body, it was just an unfortunate accident.

What has to be taken into account is the fact that injuries have not stopped his performance. He slashed .335/.417/.592 with 12 home runs after returning from the hand injury last year. After the hip injury in 2018 he returned in 2019 and hit 19 home runs and an NL-leading 44 doubles. It is not like he started off great, got hurt, and the numbers have suffered since, making this more of an intriguing risk.

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Seager will not come cheap, which is obvious. His current estimated market value per Spotrac is around $32 million AAV. The Cubs have money to spend, with little committed payroll. They are going to have to open up the pockets books if they want to get better soon.