The Major League Baseball Winter Meetings begin one week from today and the expectation is that there will be an uptick in Chicago Cubs rumors this week as the team prepares to make their first significant moves of the offseason. Many eyes are on the Cubs as the team has been criticized, rightfully so, for their spending practices in recent seasons, and after strong statements from team president Jed Hoyer and team chairman Tom Ricketts about the goal being to return to contention, it would be a complete failure if the team missed on their top targets this offseason.
To that end, former Major League Baseball general manager Jim Bowden offered a list of Cubs' targets this offseason. Bowden has been running a series with The Athletic where he offers solutions to team needs and listed offseason targets for the Cubs.
"Free-agent targets: Carlos Correa, SS; Trea Turner, SS; Xander Bogaerts, SS; Dansby Swanson, SS; Josh Bell, 1B/DH; Cody Bellinger, CF; Brandon Nimmo, CF; Andrew Benintendi, OF; Chris Bassitt, RHP; Kodai Senga, RHP; Jameson Taillon, RHP; Nathan Eovaldi, RHP; Kevin Kiermaier, CF"- The Athletic
The list of free agents that Bowden connects to the Cubs appears to be more opinion-based instead of sourced information. It is common knowledge at this point in the Cubs' offseason that the team is involved with each of the top four free-agent shortstops so there should be no surprised to see them listed.
What is a surprise is that Bowden does not list Jose Abreu among the free-agent targets for the Cubs. Local reporters have connected the Cubs to Abreu but there appears to be a sense from national reporters that the Chicago White Sox free-agent first baseman may be headed to a clear contender such as the San Diego Padres.
Bowden also list potential trade targets for the Cubs this offseason.
"Trade targets: Anthony Santander, OF; Jake McCarthy, OF; Alek Thomas, OF; Oswaldo Cabrera, OF; Trent Grisham, OF; Tyler Glasnow, RHP; Pablo López, RHP"- The Athletic
We've already talked about the Arizona Diamondbacks as a team that the Cubs may look to for outfield help so it is no surprise to see Alek Thomas and Jake McCarthy listed as potential targets. Rays' starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow is also a name that we have discussed in the past regarding a potential trade target for the Cubs.
Miami Marlins starting pitcher Pablo Lopez is an intriguing trade target for the Cubs. Lopez is under team control until 2025 and posted a 3.75 ERA (3.56 xFIP) in 180 innings pitched with the Marlins last season. If the Cubs are unable to sign a free-agent starting pitcher such as Kodai Senga, then a trade for a pitcher like Lopez may be the best path to take in regard to improving the starting rotation.