The Chicago Cubs appear to be in the middle of a serious pursuit of superstar free agent Shohei Ohtani with a new report over the weekend that Ohtani's market may come down to the Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers when all is said and done.
Given the magnitude of the signing of Ohtani, it stands to reason that is the primary focus for the team at the moment. There is a growing expectation that Ohtani will make his decision before the Winter Meetings in two weeks and that likely will signal the true start of the off-season for the Cubs.
Regardless of whether or not the Cubs can sign Ohtani, there remains a belief that the team will make a major trade this off-season. As Patrick Mooney runs the ascension of the Cubs' farm system for his latest piece in The Athletic (Subscription Required), he reports that there is an internal belief within the Cubs that a trade is coming.
"Internally, among players and within the front office, there is an awareness that more trades are on the horizon."- The Athletic
On the trade market, the focus remains on New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso and San Diego Padres outfielder Juan Soto. There appears to be more of a certainty that Soto will be traded this off-season and that likely would be a more worthwhile trade for the Cubs as opposed to Alonso.
While Alonso is a prolific slugger that the Cubs haven't had in their lineup for the past two and a half seasons, Soto is a generational talent. If it's a question of one season of Alonso or one season of Soto with the hope that it improves the chances of an extension, Soto is the easy answer given his age and the way he would transform the team's lineup.
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