The Chicago Cubs made the right call by being aggressive before the MLB lockout but still remain several key pieces away from being legitimate contenders in the National League. It’s no secret the 2022 free agent class was and is still absolutely loaded with superstar-caliber players. So as much as Jed Hoyer wants to spend intelligently, now is the time to strike – especially looking at next year’s underwhelming free agent class.
Comparing free agency this year to next year is alarming, especially if you think the Cubs are going to play it safe once the lockout ends. This year, you had/have more ace pitchers available than at any point in recent memory – including Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, Robbie Ray, Kevin Gausman, Justin Verlander and Noah Syndergaard to name a few.
You also have a crazy amount of upper-tier offensive players as well – such as Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, Marcus Semien, Freddie Freeman, Javier Baez and Trevor Story. Needless to say, this year’s class was and is still absolutely stacked and there’s been plenty to go around for any team looking to spend.
Next season, there aren’t really any ace type starting pitchers available. You have a plethora of closers and relievers and well, not much else. As for hitters, there won’t be much in terms of unrestricted free agent big name bats available. Jose Abreu and JD Martinez are the two biggest names in the offensive department but it’s hard to see a fit for the Cubs given both player’s age.
Chicago Cubs have bigger, better options in this winter’s free agent class
With this being said, next season figures to be a much more competitive race than next winter for any free agent looking to sign. Simply put, the Cubs have a much better chance of landing a big fish this winter then they will if they wait till 2023. The good thing is, it seems apparent that Tom Ricketts and Jed Hoyer are well aware of the situation at hand and started off the winter on the right foot note with the additions of both Wade Miley and Marcus Stroman to patch up the starting rotation.
Unfortunately, things came to a screeching halt just as the Carlos Correa rumors began picking up serious steam. Many reports seem as though Correa is very interested in the Cubs, while others even say the Cubs are a top two finalist to land the All-Star shortstop this winter. Due to the fact Chicago will have less of a chance next offseason to sign a big name due to the lack of available star power, the front office needs to be all-in on Correa, even if that means upping the ante to get the edge over the Yankees and other suitors.
For now, the rotation can make do. Landing a Carlos Rodon or another starter of his caliber would be incredible, but the Cubs now have addressed to the rotation enough to where they must now focus on other areas first. They need to land Correa or someone comparable so they can really compete and be ready to buy at next summer’s trade deadline by flipping some of the prospects they acquired this season.