The last 12 hours of MLB free agency regarding the Chicago Cubs have been wild. With reports circulating that the team not only met with Carlos Correa but that they may be looking to go huge and acquire two of the top three remaining shortstops. Furthermore, where we otherwise might dismiss these comments as too good to be true, Tom Ricketts has given Jed Hoyer the green light to turn the Cubs into a winning team. With just four 40-man roster spots available, how exactly might the Cubs go about that?
Elsewhere, lost in the frenzy of potential star shortstop signings, was a report that the Cubs are now involved in the trade market regarding the Oakland Athletics catcher, Sean Murphy. Granted, if the Cubs sign any of Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts, or Dansby Swanson, let alone two of them, they will probably earn a solid A grade for the offseason regardless. Although Sean Murphy is a name further down the list of who you may be thinking about right now, acquiring him via trade will prove critical if the Cubs want to hit it out of the park this winter.
Trading for Murphy is vital to this whole thing because, in doing so, they have the much-needed opportunity to move MLB-ready talent off the 40-man roster further to open up spots for free agency this winter. If a trade doesn't come to fruition, the Cubs probably have no real issue DFAing guys if they have to. Hypothetically, if they go all out and get two shortstops, a pitcher, and a first baseman, they still need a catcher and a center fielder. With that being said, let's look at three players that could be part of a blockbuster deal to free up 40-man roster spots for free agency this winter.