Chicago Cubs rumors are beginning to see an uptick as Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings are set to begin on Sunday. The biggest rumor from Thursday was the report from Bob Nightengale of USA Today that the Cubs have a strong interest in free-agent catcher Christian Vazquez. While Vazquez was the biggest rumor of the day, the talk on Thursday night was New York Post insider Jon Heyman's prediction that the Cubs are the favorites for free agent shortstop Dansby Swanson.
Swanson has been a polarizing free agent to discuss in relation to the Cubs' offseason needs as there is no question that the Braves' free-agent shortstop would not serve as the same impact acquisition that Carlos Correa, Trea Turner, or Xander Bogaerts would. There certainly are positives, though, for any team that signs Swanson this offseason and Russ Dorsey of Bally Sports made the case on Thursday.
It was a perfect conclusion that Dorsey had when talking about Swanson in that the shortstop has a high floor but his ceiling is not nearly as high as Correa's, Turner's, or Bogaert's. Swanson still projects as a 3-WAR player for, at least, the first two seasons of his next deal and there are paths to where the Cubs can still have a successful offseason if Swanson is indeed the shortstop they sign. The task for the Cubs, if Swanson is their desired shortstop, is to then ensure that they are able to add an impact bat at the first base position.
Swanson and the free-agent shortstops were among the topics I discussed on the Crosstown Crosstalk show on Thursday with host Vinnie Parise.
More Cubs News
The St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros are emerging as the favorites to sign former Cubs' catcher Willson Contreras.
On Thursday, we took a deep dive into whether or not Joey Gallo could be an option for the Cubs as the team looks for increased power production in 2023. We also examined relief options that the Cubs could add to their bullpen.
The Tampa Bay Rays have finalized the richest free-agent contract in the team's history on Thursday as they signed free-agent starting pitcher Zach Eflin to a three-year contract worth $40MM.
Free agent outfielder Cody Bellinger is working on his swing this offseason.
The Houston Astros and free-agent starting pitcher Justin Verlander remain far apart in contract negotiations this offseason.
In continued signs that the Milwaukee Brewers are rebuilding, Kolten Wong is being discussed as a possible trade candidate.