Chicago Cubs Rumors: Kevin Kiermaier's asking price is a tough sell

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles
Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

The Chicago Cubs' projected 2023 starting centerfielder is likely not on the current roster as team president Jed Hoyer has stated that the team will add an external option to the outfield in 2023 and that player will see a bulk of the playing time in centerfield. Los Angeles Dodgers free agent centerfielder Cody Bellinger has seemingly emerged as the Cubs preferred candidate for centerfield in 2023 but there have been several teams linked to the 2019 National League MVP. If the Cubs are unable to land Bellinger, one name that the team may pivot to is Tampa Bay Rays centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier.

Kiermaier was linked to the Cubs earlier this offseason and on Monday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic provided an update on Kiermaier's asking price.

"• In Kevin Kiermaier’s perfect world, he would land a deal similar to the two-year, $24 million free-agent contract another defense-first center fielder, Jackie Bradley Jr., landed prior to the 2021 season."

The Athletic

Kiermaier's perfect world is not a perfect world for the Cubs. The reason why the Cubs need a centerfielder in 2023 is that top prospects Brennan Davis and Pete Crow-Armstrong will not be ready for the Major League level at the start of the season. Davis, after being plagued with a back injury in 2022, will likely look to gain his footing once more with the Iowa Cubs at the start of 2023 while Crow-Armstrong will likely start the season with the Tennessee Smokies. As long as Davis is able to remain healthy, there is a reasonable expectation that he could be at the Major League level by the end of the 2023 season with Crow-Armstrong taking his spot on Iowa's roster. All this to say that the Cubs really do not have a need in centerfield beyond 2023 and signing Kiermaier to a two-year deal would go against their intelligent spending philosophy.

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Given the offensive regression that Kiermaier has experienced in recent seasons, a multi-year deal with the idea of him being a potential Ian Happ replacement in 2024 doesn't make sense either. Under that umbrella, signing Michael Conforto would have more of an upside for the Cubs than Kiermaier/