One area of need for the Chicago Cubs this winter is first base as the team is looking for more production out of the position after the Frank Schwindel experiment failed during the 2022 Major League Baseball regular season. Chicago White Sox free agent first baseman Jose Abreu has been considered a priority target for the Cubs this offseason and there was a sense that the team wanted to get a deal completed in the early parts of the offseason as a way to signal their intent to contend in 2023. Abreu, however, will have no shortage of suitors this offseason given the offensive value he brings to the team.
The Padres have an opening at their first base position with Josh Bell reaching free agency this offseason. Bell was acquired by the Padres as part of the trade with the Washington Nationals that also saw Juan Soto headed to San Diego. Bell is also among the list of free-agent first basemen that the Cubs have already expressed interest in.
Chicago Cubs may need to act fast on Jose Abreu.
A bidding war with the Padres would be an interesting test for the Cubs early this offseason. The Padres, with their moves in recent seasons, have not been afraid to spend money in order to assist in their quest for a World Series title with their current core of players. With Bell not expected to return and shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr set to miss the first part of the 2023 season due to his current suspension, it stands to reason that the team will look to add to their offense this offseason. Abreu would certainly represent an upgrade for the team.
The Cubs, however, still may be offering more for Abreu in the short term as opposed to the Padres. On a short-term deal, perhaps two years, the Cubs should be able to offer a higher AAV to Abreu than the Padres would be able to. In addition, the Cubs would allow Abreu and his family to remain in the city of Chicago. What the Cubs will need to emphasize to Abreu in their pursuit of him is that they are intent on contending in 2023. If that message is portrayed to Abreu successfully, then the Cubs may still be at the top of his preferred destinations.