Cubs: Shohei Ohtani rumors make busy offseason seem likelier than ever

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

MLB Network insider Jon Morosi was on 670 the Score’s Parkins and Spiegel Show this past week and shared some interesting thoughts on Angels star Shohei Ohtani. The 28-year-old two-way player is having another productive year at the plate and has dominated on the mound. Considering the team is far from contention and owner Arte Moreno is in the early stages of selling the franchise, the future of Ohtani in Anaheim is far from set in stone at this point.

Morosi specifically brought up the Chicago Cubs, and how the team was a legit suitor for Ohtani when he was looking to sign with an MLB team prior to the 2018 season. With a history between the two clubs, the unknown future of the Angels franchise and the intriguing future of the Cubs, Morosi said it would not surprise him if Ohtani was traded to Chicago this offseason.

"“My understanding is the Cubs were impressive to Shohei’s camp (in 2017). So it wouldn’t surprise me if Shohei were to be traded to the Cubs, and you look around and this is to me a compelling time to join the Cubs.”"

Naturally, this raised a lot of eyebrows.

The significance of the Cubs being linked to Shohei Ohtani

We have heard from a number of insiders that there is a strong belief that the Cubs are going to have a busy offseason. They had been linked to the top shortstop free agents by The Athletic‘s Ken Rosenthal not too long ago.

Making mass improvements to the MLB roster could mean more than just spending money, but also spending prospect capital to acquire established MLB talent. The Cubs have a top-10 farm system per MLB Pipeline, showcasing a ton of depth throughout the organization. If there was a team to make a blockbuster deal in the offseason, the Cubs would be one of the teams that has the capital to pull it off. One can only speculate what kind of haul it would require for the Cubs to get Ohtani to the North Side.

Imagine the Angels would be intrigued by the likes of top prospects Pete Crow-Armstrong, Brennen Davis, Kevin Alcantara and some of the pitching prospects. I would not rule out them being interested in MLB players like Nico Hoerner or Justin Steele, either. So much would be on the table in this scenario.

Is a deal for Ohtani likely to happen? Who knows. However, the speculation is very intriguing for multiple reasons. It speaks volumes when MLB insiders believe the Cubs have a path to contention in the coming years, and that the team seems willing to make it happen. It is well worth noting that Ohtani is set to be a free agent after 2023, so whoever does trade for him (if it happens) will be likely looking to lock him up for years to come.

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It seems reasonable at this point to expect the Cubs to be very active this offseason, the question is how they do it. Rumors are shifting from who they will trade away, to who they might acquire. This is a nice breath of fresh air for the fans.