Chicago Cubs Rumors: Trading for Eduardo Escobar makes sense

New York Mets v Oakland Athletics
New York Mets v Oakland Athletics / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

The Chicago Cubs may stand to benefit after a shocking move over the middle of the night that saw Carlos Correa's deal with the San Francisco Giants become null and void and the New York Mets swiftly moved in and picked him up, signing him to a 12-year, $315MM deal. Correa has been brought in strictly to shift over to the third base while keeping Francisco Lindor at SS and Jeff Mcneil to man 2B or the outfield. As much as there is to be said about that, one of several questions that need to be answered now is, "What happens with guys like Brett Baty or Eduardo Escobar?"

Baty's price will be astronomical if made available. The Cubs' trade assets are more valuable elsewhere and would likely be used to acquire a catcher or starting pitcher. What would be the cost for Baty? Lower-level prospects for a top prospect? It could work in theory, especially if the Mets are thinking about the trade deadline and having an extra surplus of guys that can be used to purchase whatever needs they still may have. Last year, we saw the Mets display cold feet at the deadline because they have a very top-heavy farm and were unwilling to move one of those players. In hindsight, they made the right move.

Whichever prospects they had have been too high a price to pay. After their top five or so guys, there's a steep drop-off in the Mets organization that more or less isn't of interest to many teams selling major league talent. So, Baty could be interesting if he's made available. The Mets are dead set on a World Series, so they should be trying to acquire as much as possible. However, Baty is already a top prospect, and it makes more sense to hold on to him and dangle him at the deadline. His value is immense and could help fetch New York the return they seek via trade. Still, multiple teams will be checking in, and the Cubs will be one of them.

However, more realistically, Eduardo Escobar, in particular, could become interesting and very much in play. Especially for a team like the Chicago Cubs, who are in the market for corner-infield help. Over Escobar's career, he has managed respectable enough numbers, earning a slash of .254/.308/.435. Since 2017, Escobar has eclipsed at least 20 home runs and 65 RBI five times. The only year he didn't was during the 2020 pandemic season. His best year came in 2019 when he slashed .269/.320/.511 with 35 HRs and 118 RBI. Escobar is primarily a third baseman but could also play second base if need be.

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Escobar is a switch-hitter, which also brings value to any team. Offensively, Escobar has a career slash of .275/.319/.464 with a 109 wRC+ and .246/.303/.424 and a 93 wRC+ against RHPs. Essentially, for the Cubs, he brings the switch-hitting, the ability to play multiple positions in the infield, and is quite cost-effective. For 2023, he will earn $9.5MM and has a club option for 2024. There is a $500k buyout for next season as well. That $9.5MM is burning a hole in the Mets' pockets. Their payroll is at record-breaking levels. Shedding some salary, especially on players that aren't in great need anymore, like Escobar, significantly helps their payroll issue. Look for the Mets to make a couple of corresponding moves after inking Correa to a mega-deal, and don't be surprised if the Cubs' name is brought into more trade rumors.