3 backup options for the Cubs if they go cheap after missing out on Jose Abreu

Chicago White Sox v Oakland Athletics
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Dominic Smith / Chicago Cubs
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3 first base options if the Cubs go cheap again: #1 - Dominic Smith

It feels like we've been thinking about Dominic Smith as a potential Cub for some time now. Of course, there was speculation this summer around the possibility of him coming to Chicago in a deal for Willson Contreras. But the Mets were scared off of making a major trade with the Cubs for the second straight year and Smith stayed put in Queens.

Smith has never really lived up to the potential that once surrounded him when he was a prospect, but he's still just 27 years old (and won't turn 28 until next summer). This guy screams reclamation project and change-of-scenery candidate and now that he's a free agent, we're going to see plenty of teams hope to capture lightning in a bottle.

A .560 OPS at the big league level in 2022 isn't going to warrant a major payday. That's clear. But if the Cubs really believe in Mervis, pairing him up with someone like Smith should be viewed as a very real possibility.

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I can't say I'd personally be excited about the Cubs penny-pinching again this winter. My guess is when it came to Abreu, they were comfortable at the $20 million AAV - but a third year that takes him through his age-39 season wasn't going to fly with the front office or ownership. Chicago is going to learn: you either get a little uncomfortable with those top free agent targets or you watch them play against you.