3 superstar free agents who could join the Cubs next season

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3 superstar free agents who could join the Cubs in 2024 - 1: Manny Machado

Leaving nothing to the imagination, Padres third baseman Manny Machado announced his intent to opt out of the rest of his deal at year's end, setting himself up to be one of the most sought-after commodities on the open market.

Varying reports suggest he could be looking for a deal in the 10-year, $400 million range - which would carry him through his age-41 season. In the past, that might have been a laughable idea, but these longer deals have become very popular, allowing front offices to lower the luxury tax hit annually. The back ends of these contracts could very well prove painful, but. that hasn't dissuaded clubs from handing them out.

Last season in San Diego, Machado turned in another MVP-caliber performance for the Padres, evidenced by an .898 OPS and 152 wRC+ in 150 games. A perennial Gold Glove finalist (and two-time winner) at the hot corner, the idea of Machado, Swanson and Hoerner comprising three-quarters of the Cubs infield is, quite literally, the stuff of dreams.

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With Chicago turning the corner on its rebuild, will Tom Ricketts and Jed Hoyer put their heads together on a move of this caliber? TIme will tell. It would be uncharted waters for the franchise and this front office, but could have the Cubs back in the World Series hunt as soon as 2024.