Chicago Cubs Rumors: Jurickson Profar not believed to be an option

Oct 22, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Jurickson Profar (10)
Oct 22, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Jurickson Profar (10) / Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

After news that Chicago Cubs starting right fielder Seiya Suzuki will be out indefinitely with a moderate left oblique strain, the team is now faced with uncertainty in the outfield. Trey Mancini may get an extended look in the outfield to begin the season but that hasn't prevented speculation that the team may look toward the free agent once more before Opening Day.

Though, a report from Patrick Mooney of The Athletic would suggest otherwise.

"Jurickson Profar, who declined his $7.5 million player option for 2023, remains a free agent. Profar is a switch-hitter and a versatile defender who put up 15 home runs, 58 RBIs and a .723 OPS for the San Diego Padres last season. But it doesn’t appear that the Cubs are already looking in that direction. The remaining resources in this year’s budget for baseball operations may be better allocated toward an experienced left-handed reliever such as Zack Britton and trade-deadline additions."

Patrick Mooney via The Athletic

The idea that the Cubs are not considering external options such as Profar at this point in time may be an indicator that the team is confident that Suzuki will be back shortly after Opening Day. The issue for the Cubs and Suzuki is that there is no exact timeline for an oblique injury. The general timeline is approximately 6-8 weeks but each case is different and the injury could be one that lingers for an entire season if not rehabbed properly.

If the Cubs approach the end of Spring Training and still do not have a definitive update on Suzuki's status, it would seem that they may circle back to Profar if he remains available as his price likely will drop as we get closer to the start of the season.

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We also shouldn't ignore the direct mention of Zack Britton that Mooney offers. While the signing of Michael Fulmer bolstered the team's bullpen, the Cubs are still short on left-handed relievers. The Cubs attended Britton's workout last month and the veteran would fit the profile of the type of reliever that the team seeks.