Chicago Cubs among best fits for several top free agents via latest projections

The Chicago Cubs are expected to be active in free agency this winter and it is no surprise to see the team linked to several top free agents.
Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels
Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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The Chicago Cubs have money to spend this off-season and there is an expectation that the team will make the transition from good to great this off-season.

With that transition, the goal for the Cubs entering the 2024 season should be to win the World Series rather than a team that has the chance of making the post-season if everything goes right.

There is a belief within the Major League Baseball industry that the Cubs are going to have an aggressive approach to their moves this off-season.

That sense is felt when looking at The Athletic's list of Top 40 free agents in Major League Baseball this off-season. The Athletic has the Cubs listed among the best fits for the following free agents: Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Aaron Nola, Cody Bellinger, Matt Chapman, Michael Wacha, Marcus Stroman, Jeimer Candelario, Kyle Hendricks, and Wade Miley.

With regard to Stroman and Hendricks, it is widely believed that both will be returning to the Cubs in 2024. Stroman has a $21MM player option that he will likely exercise for the 2024 season while Hendricks has a $16MM club option.

The Cubs, obviously, have an interest in bringing Bellinger back on a long-term deal and Yamamoto has already popped up in the Cubs' rumor mill this off-season. There also seems to be a consensus that the Cubs will be involved in the market for third baseman Matt Chapman but there should be serious caution on that front.

The projected contract for Chapman in The Athletic's piece is $127MM for six years. Chapman's offense showed some serious signs of regression last season beginning in May and at 30 years old, there likely will be a regression in his defensive skills at third base. Avoiding this type of contract should be the goal for the Cubs this off-season.

Of course, the Cubs are going to be mentioned in coordinator with Ohtani's free agency as there are benefits to each side being linked together. Ohtani's projected contract falls in at 10 years for $477MM and that does not figure to be a deal that the Hoyer-led front office is willing to make.

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