MLB free agency has officially begun and the rumor mill is churning out new tidbits left and right. In the wake of the Chicago Cubs shocking the baseball world by firing their manager David Ross and replacing him with rival skipper Craig Counsell, the expectation is that the team will be in on some of the best available players this winter.
The Cubs targeting perennial MVP candidate Juan Soto from the San Diego Padres is the latest rumor to hit the internet and I have to say, the more I think about this the more I realize that the Cubs are not a good trade partner to acquire Soto, and here's why.
1. Soto only has one year of control
Soto is about to start his final season of arbitration - in which he is estimated to earn around $30 million - before he hits free agency before 2025. While the Cubs may be willing to fork that money over, is it worth sending a haul to San Diego for just one year of his services?
You may be thinking that the Cubs should just extend Soto after they acquire him, but it's not that simple. Soto is represented by the notoriously stingy Scott Boras, and we've learned from Cody Bellinger's resurgence that getting a contract extension done is difficult. Not to mention Soto will sign a megadeal likely worth even more than what Bellinger will net so Boras is gonna want to maximize the value and wait as long as possible.
This is a very long way of saying that Soto will more than likely hit free agency next year, meaning the Cubs will just have to compete with everyone else to sign him long-term whether they trade for him this year or not.