Chicago Cubs Rumors: Pushback on shortstop market

Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs / Greg Fiume/GettyImages

The Major League Baseball offseason will begin in earnest for the Chicago Cubs and the 29 other teams this afternoon when free agents are officially allowed to finalize deals with new teams. The Cubs appear to be intent on being active in the free agent market this offseason and their plans appear to be centered around the four top free agent shortstops in Carlos Correa, Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts, and Dansby Swanson.

Those four shortstops are near the top of the list of available free agents this offseason and there is no question that each is a fit for the Cubs. The issue that the Cubs may run into is that each of the four free-agent shortstops are seeking a long-term deal in the range of 8-10 years. If that is the case, the Cubs may strike out on all four of the shortstops as the team may be more interested in a short-term commitment with a high AAV.

The question that has seldom been asked in regard to the Cubs' offseason is what happens if the team misses on each of the top four free agent shortstops?

The Cubs still have a very good shortstop in Nico Hoerner. Lets remember that the Cubs' pursuit of the top free agent shortstops is not an indictment on how the team views Hoerner. Hoerner has solidified himself as a member of the team's core moving forward.

The Cubs are in desperate need of improved offensive production in 2023. The four free agent shortstops each represent a significant offensive upgrade for the Cubs and signing would allow the Cubs to address their offensive need while also addressing their second base need in shifting Hoerner over.

The Chicago Cubs can still have a successful offseason if they don't sign a free-agent shortstop.

If the Cubs miss out on each of the four free agent shortstops, they will be just fine at the shortstop position with Hoerner but must address their offensive need. Under that scenario, signing free agent first baseman Jose Abreu would likely be a higher priority than it already is. The Cubs still have a need in centerfield and it is likely that, if they miss on the free agent shortstops, they look for a centerfield that can be both an offensive upgrade as well as a defensive upgrade.

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The Cubs can still have a successful offseason if they do not sign one of the free agent shortstops but there is absolutely no reason for the team to be afraid of a long-term commitment for either Turner or Correa.