Chicago Cubs News: A DH target, Another target lost, and more

Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox / Winslow Townson/GettyImages

The movement has started on the Major League Baseball free agent market this week as Chicago Cubs first base target Jose Abreu signed a three-year deal with the Houston Astros on Tuesday and the Chicago White Sox signed starting pitcher Mike Clevinger on Monday. The Cubs have yet to make any significant additions to their Major League roster and that is not a reason for concern as most teams across Major League Baseball are waiting for the market to set. There is a strong chance that the market will set next week at the Winter Meetings but for now, there is an interesting potential Cubs' target that has been discussed on Twitter over the past 24 hours.

Prior to 2022 and not including the COVID-shortened 2020 season, Boston Red Sox free-agent designated hitter J.D. Martinez had posted a wRC+ over 120 in each of the past 7 seasons. Even in 2022, Martinez just missed that mark as he finished the season with a 119 wRC+. The 35-year-old Martinez still had a respectable 2022 campaign with the Red Sox as he had a slash line of .274/.341/.448/.790 in 596 plate appearances. The power numbers were down for Martinez in 2022, however, as he had 16 home runs and the season marked the first full season that he had not reached the 25-home-run plateau since 2016. Still, though, Martinez's .174 ISO rating last year would have been third among current Cubs players.

After losing out on Abreu, the Cubs will need to be creative in their search for offensive improvement. The sentiment would hold especially true if the Cubs are unable to land one of the free-agent shortstops this offseason. In terms of his 2023 fit for the Cubs, it would exclusively be as the team's designated hitter as he likely does not have the capability of playing in center field.

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The Cubs may have lost out on another potential target on Tuesday as the Washington Nationals signed third baseman Jeimer Candelario to a one-year deal. Given the potential need that the Cubs may have at third base, a reunion with Candelario did make some sense.

MLB News

New York Yankees free agent outfielder Aaron Judge may be nearing a decision on what team he will sign with. Given the teams involved--the Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and Texas Rangers--Judge's decision will have a trickle-down impact on the free agent market. Once Judge signs, the focus will then turn to the shortstop market.

The Tampa Bay Rays may have had discussions with the representatives of free-agent starting pitcher Jacob deGrom. Given the financial restraints on the Rays' payroll, it seems highly unlikely that they are a realistic option for deGrom this offseason.