One of the first trades of the Major League Baseball off-season was the Seattle Mariners trading former top prospect, outfielder Jarred Kelenic to the Atlanta Braves. Reporting after the fact suggested that the Cubs were intrigued by Kelenic's availability and that served as a reminder that Jed Hoyer does not scoff at any opportunity to improve the team's roster.
The Cubs have yet to make an impact addition to their Major League roster but a player may have become available on the trade market that would intrigue the team's front office as much as Kelenic did.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Subscription Required) reports that the Boston Red Sox are receiving trade interest in outfielder Masataka Yoshida. The premise of the report is that the Red Sox are interested in free-agent outfielder Teoscar Hernández but likely would need to trade Yoshida and the remaining money on his contract before committing to more money in free agency.
Yoshida signed a five-year deal with the Red Sox worth $90MM prior to the 2023 season. Given the money remaining on his deal, Yoshida is a prime candidate to be moved in order for the Red Sox to create more financial flexibility.
That could align well for the Cubs, who likely would be interested in Yoshida for the same reasons that they were in Kelenic. In his first season in Major League Baseball during the 2023 season, Yoshida slashed .289/.338/.445 with 15 home runs and a 109 wRC+.
Yoshida's numbers were carried by a hot start during the first half of the season. While there might be concern over the offensive regression that Yoshida experienced during the second half of the season, 73 wRC+, it's possible that the Cubs may feel confident in their ability to get the most out of his offensive profile.
It's also worth nothing that Craig Breslow, a former Cubs' executive, is now the top voice of the Red Sox's baseball operations. That could be a connection that leads to more trades between the two teams over the next few seasons.