This morning on 670 The Score, Bruce Levine chimed in on the Chicago Cubs' offensive needs and specifically mentioned the first base and catcher positions being of priority.
""They are going to bring in a guy like Mancini and a catcher""- Bruce Levine, 670 The Score
We know Trey Mancini has been a target of the Cubs for the duration of the off-season, and those mentions were only further intensified when the Cubs missed on Jose Abreu in November. We've gone over Mancini specifically at length in the past and why he is a fine addition to the Cubs. The good news is, adding Mancini is a decent step in the right direction for next season. The bad, adding only Mancini without at least another potent bat in the lineup is not enough to contend.
Elsewhere, Levine mentions Swanson will be receiving an 8-10 year deal in the $22MM-$25MM AAV range, which is not surprising given how the market has developed this offseason. Should Swanson opt for the longer years attached, rather than a higher AAV as have his counterparts before him, it may put the Cubs out of the running once and for all in the shortstop market.
From a money-making perspective, it makes more sense to take a shorter, higher AAV deal and then look for another short deal after your next contract is up to maximize your revenue as a baseball player. However, as we've seen with Trea Turner, sometimes money isn't everything. Turner left $40.0MM<< on the board in San Diego to play ball for the Philadelphia Phillies, stating he wanted to be on the East Coast. To paraphrase, once the money gets that high, it becomes more about family and where you want to be long-term.
This is where the Cubs may run into trouble with their approach to intelligent spending. Players in their prime simply aren't going for it. If the Cubs want to make a splash, they must sacrifice their motto and improve the team. There's so much revenue right now at the Cubs' disposal between this offseason and next winter that even if you wind up signing a player to a terrible deal, it still doesn't hinder you that drastically down the road. When the owner gives you the green light to spend, coupled with the fact that you will surely lose if you do nothing, there is no excuse.
It has been exhausting, to say the least, waiting to see what the Cubs do this winter. Adding Trey Mancini and a catcher are the type of additions that need to happen regardless of what happens with Swanson. Those types of moves aren't pivots from Swanson, but in addition to. If they miss on Swanson, they will need to add another bat, on top of Mancini quickly, and a catcher if they wish to do anything meaningful in the 2023 season.