Chicago Cubs Rumors: Team checked in on Josh Naylor

As the Chicago Cubs have a need for an impact bat, the team reportedly checked in on the status of Cleveland Guardians' first baseman Josh Naylor.

Sep 27, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Guardians first baseman Josh Naylor (22) celebrates
Sep 27, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Guardians first baseman Josh Naylor (22) celebrates / David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
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The Chicago Cubs missing out on Shohei Ohtani, while expected, has highlighted the need for the team to add an impact bat to their starting lineup.

Even if the Cubs do find a way to bring back Cody Bellinger on a long-term deal, that would only return the team to the point they were at the end of the season. Adding Bellinger is not an improvement considering he was with the team during the 2023 season.

If the Cubs' offense is going to be improved in 2024, it would need to be Bellinger and another bat. Rhys Hoskins has been speculated to be the second addition to the Cubs' starting lineup but a rumor popped up on Sunday that may be more intriguing.

Paul Hoynes of Cleveland dot com reported on Sunday that the Cubs were among the teams that checked on the availability of Cleveland Guardians' first baseman Josh Naylor during the Winter Meetings last week.

"On the same day, it was learned that the Cubs, Pirates and Mariners showed interest in Naylor at the just-completed winter meetings in Nashville, Tennessee. The Guardians are in listening mode when it comes to trying to improve on their disappointing 76-86 finish last season. "

Cleveland dot com

Naylor is under team control for two more seasons and would certainly be an answer to the Cubs' need for offensive improvement. In 495 plate appearances last season, Naylor slashed .308/..354/.489 with a wRC+ of 128. Either as a designated hitter or first baseman, there would be value for the Cubs in having Naylor in their lineup. At the age of 26, there is also reason to believe there is more to Naylor's offensive profile.

The Guardians figure to be an ideal trade partner for the Cubs as they are also listening on potential deals for starting pitcher Shane Bieber and closer Emmanuel Clase.

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