Chicago Cubs Rumors: Strong interest being shown in Christian Vazquez

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The Chicago Cubs may be zeroing in on their first significant move of the Major League Baseball offseason. While also confirming the interest that the Houston Astros have in Cubs' free agent catcher Willson Contreras, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs have expressed a strong interest in Astros' free agent catcher Christian Vazquez.

If Vazquez does sign with the Cubs and Contreras with the Astros, it would be an interesting full-circle moment for both teams. At the Major League Baseball trade deadline last season, the Cubs and Astros were near the finish line on a trade that would have sent Contreras to the Astros for starting pitcher Jose Urquidy. Interestingly enough, the trade was shot down by Dusty Baker after the team's owner, Jim Crane, went to Baker with the trade that was negotiated by then-general manager James Click. The failed trade was the first sign of a fracture between Click and Crane. The Astros would proceed to trade for Vazquez from the Boston Red Sox. Click is no longer serving as the team's general manager.

There is no question that Vazquez is a clear fit for the Cubs and their plans for the catching position in 2023. In an interesting caveat, Vazquez grew a close friendship with Red Sox free agent shortstop Xander Bogaerts while the two played together in Boston. Bogaerts shared his thoughts on Vazquez with NESN after the catcher was traded to the Astros last season.

"“It was a hard trade deadline also,” Bogaerts said. “As I said, Vazquey leaving. … I lived with him in the minor leagues everywhere. He was my Uber driver before the Uber. … If five is the max, I give him six (stars). He was really good and helpful to me. … He was definitely close to me and it was tough.” "

NESN

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Bogaerts is among the free-agent shortstops that the Cubs have expressed an interest in. There is no question that with Vazquez in the fold, the Cubs may become a preferred destination for Bogaerts.

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