If Cubs bargain shop, don’t be surprised to see Colin Moran mentioned

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

Whenever the freeze thaws and free agency removes, things are going to move quickly – and you can bet Jed Hoyer and the Cubs front office are still hard at work doing their homework in preparation.

There’s an incredible number of players without a team for the 2022 campaign right now. The direction Chicago will take remains to be seen. If they, for example, go all-in on someone of Carlos Correa’s caliber, they’ll need to look for bargains to shore up other areas on the roster.

Rumors have come up recently of Anthony Rizzo possibly being offered a contract once the lockout lifts. However, the long-term effect Rizzo could have for the Cubs is questionable at best, even if it is a heart-warming gesture for fans. Following that cost-effective path a bit further, I can’t help but look at someone like Colin Moran.

To put it mildly, Rizzo and Moran will wind up with wildly different contracts in free agency. Rizzo could potentially land in the $20 million a year category. Moran, on the other hand, despite being just 29, doesn’t have near the same credentials – and will definitely be a budget-friendly option for teams playing in the shallow end of the pool.

For his career, Moran has slashed a respectable .267/.329/.418. Looking at his batting average in particular it’s important to note that Rizzo’s career slash in .268/.369/.481. Rizzo does a lot of things better than Moran (like get on base and hit for power) but their batting averages are essentially identical, if nothing else.

Moran’s best season came in 201, when he batted .277/.322/.429 with 13 home runs and 80 RBI. Though these numbers don’t seem like that much, it’s important to remember how absolutely atrocious the Pirates have been over the years, so to drive in 80 runs on a last-place team is, well, respectable, at least.

Chicago Cubs: Colin Moran can serve as needed insurance at the corners

Going out and signing Moran isn’t going to suddenly propel the Cubs into the postseason picture or even be considered a key offseason move, but it’s one that could still help the team improve. It gives you a backup option behind both Frank Schwindel and Patrick Wisdom at the corners should either falter in the sophomore season – something we know the team could use.

Next. Jed Hoyer is really hitting his stride of late. dark

He’s got some pretty drastic splits (.280 AVG v RHP / .216 AVG v LHP) so platooning him with Schwindel, who mashed against southpaws last year could make sense, too. If Hoyer avoids the big fish in his final moves of the offseason, don’t be surprised to see the Cubs connected to Moran and players similar to him.