Chicago Cubs News: Andrew Benintendi deal, Nick Madrigal, and more

Aug 25, 2022; Oakland, California, USA;  New York Yankees left fielder Andrew Benintendi (18) jogs
Aug 25, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Andrew Benintendi (18) jogs / Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago White Sox made their first significant move of the offseason on Friday and it is a move that could serve as a launching point for a future move for the Chicago Cubs. On Friday, the White Sox agreed to a five-year deal with veteran outfielder Andrew Benintendi worth $75MM.

Benintendi, 28, compiled a 2.8 fWAR last season with a .304/.373/.399/.772 with a 122 wRC+ in 521 plate appearances between the Kansas City Royals and New York Yankees. Benintendi gives the White Sox a much-needed contact hitter while slotting in as the team's left fielder.

The five-year deal Benintendi signed with the White Sox worth $75MM likely serves as a starting point for Cubs' left fielder Ian Happ. Happ, entering the final year of his contract, will be 29 when he reaches free agency next offseason. Happ had a slightly better 2022 than Benintendi as the Cubs' all-star compiled a 3.5 fWAR while slashing .271/.342/.440/.781 with a 120 wRC+. The most significant difference between the two was the power numbers as Happ launched 17 home runs last season and Benintendi had 5.

Assuming Happ continues that pace in 2023, Benintendi's deal will be the initial framework for conversations. The Cubs are expected to have extension talks with Happ this offseason.

Nick Madrigal's Chicago Cubs Future

With the Chicago Cubs' pursuit of a premium free-agent shortstop this offseason down to Dansby Swanson, there has been an uptick in the comparison's between Swanson and Nico Hoerner and questioning why the Cubs view the former Atlanta Braves' shortstop as an upgrade over Hoerner.

For reminder purposes, the Cubs' interest in the free-agent shortstops has nothing to do with Hoerner. It has to do with the team locking up the middle of their infield for the long-term while also upgrading their offense. Hoerner is a part of that plan. Nick Madrigal likely is not. That is the player in which Swanson should be compared against and that is the player that will likely be moved if Swanson signs with the team.

Joey Gallo signs with the Minnesota Twins

We talked about the idea of the Chicago Cubs looking at Joey Gallo as a potential designated hitter but that idea is no more as Gallo is joining the Minnesota Twins.