Cubs sit idly by as Corey Seager and Robbie Ray sign in free agency
The Max Scherzer news on Monday was historic. Nobody’s questioning that. But it had little impact on the Cubs, aside from an already scorching hot pitching market shrinking by yet another arm (obviously bad news for Chicago). But the two other major signings we saw featured a pair of guys who could have easily fit on this team in Corey Seager and Robbie Ray.
Seager joined Marcus Semien, who inked a free agent deal of his own a day earlier, in Texas on a massive 10-year, $325 million deal. And don’t forget the Rangers also added yet another prospective Chicago target in right-hander Jon Gray over the weekend, too.
The longtime Dodgers shortstop checked literally every box for what the Cubs should have been looking for this winter. He’s young, a plus bat and is just one of those talents you can build an entire franchise around. But despite some earlier reports suggesting the team had interest in the two-time All-Star, nothing ever materialized and now, Seager is poised to spend the rest of his career in the Lone Star State.
Then, you have the Seattle Mariners – who are typically a total non-factor in free agency – swooping in an adding this year’s American League Cy Young winner Robbie Ray on a five-year, $115 deal that includes an opt-out after year three.
Cubs seemingly content on the sidelines as pitcher after pitcher sign deals
As much as we’d all have liked a Seager (or Carlos Correa, Javier Baez, Trevor Story, etc.), it’s clear the Cubs’ most pressing need is in the starting rotation. A guy like Ray could have really been a boost to the staff, but instead he’ll head to the Pacific Northwest to join a Mariners team that reportedly has interest in former Cubs teammates Javier Baez and Kris Bryant, too.
Of course, Ray is hardly the first quality starting pitcher to sign with a new team this winter. We’ve watched name after name come off the board this month, ranging from Eduardo Rodriguez and Noah Syndergaard to Andrew Heaney, Corey Kluber and Steven Matz (among others).
Even if the Cubs aren’t about shelling out $300+ million this winter to one player – and you can make the case that’s ‘intelligent spending’ – completely sitting out the offseason as the free agent ranks are pilfered seems like a sure-fire way to wind up punting on the 2022 season and further alienating an already irate fanbase.