The Chicago Cubs were never believed to be in the position of wanting to set the market for the free-agent shortstops that were available this offseason and that is why it was no surprise to see the market be set by the Philadelphia Phillies. On Monday, the Phillies signed free-agent shortstop Trea Turner to an 11-year deal worth $300MM. The Cubs have been loosely connected to Turner this offseason but the connections to Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts, and Dansby Swanson have been more prevalent for the team.
In recent days, it seemed as if the Cubs may have escalated their pursuit of Bogaerts as a report surfaced on Sunday night that suggested the team was on the verge of submitting a formal offer to the former Boston Red Sox shortstop. The rumor of the Cubs submitting a formal offer to Bogaerts came after the report that the free-agent shortstop was the Cubs' top priority this offseason. The Cubs' efforts to land Bogaerts may quickly be thwarted by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
For the Cubs, losing out to the Phillies in regard to signing Turner is one thing and can be described away by the Phillies being closer to World Series contention and a willingness to spend money. But, losing out to the Diamondbacks for Bogaerts, there simply is no reason why the Cubs should allow that to happen. After emerging as one of the greatest pure hitters in Major League Baseball currently and clubhouse leader in Boston, Bogaerts would be an ideal pairing with the Cubs.
While Bogaerts will likely command a contract that is about $100MM less than what Turner got from the Phillies, there is no question that the market, as a whole, is trending upward. While Bogaerts' personal preferences are not known, it would seem that if he signed with Diamondbacks, it would be because they offered him the most money. If that is the case and the Cubs are outbid by the Diamondbacks for a player in Bogaerts that has been described as their top priority, then what exactly are they doing here? First, it was the Minnesota Twins outbidding the Cubs for Carlos Correa last offseason, and now the Diamondbacks for Bogaerts? If that proves to be true, "intelligent spending" was just another mask for the Cubs to wear as they hide their inactivity.