Cubs listed as among the 'best fits' for Twins infielder Jorge Polanco

A trade for the longtime Minnesota infielder could be one way of addressing the hot corner this offseason.

Oakland Athletics v Minnesota Twins
Oakland Athletics v Minnesota Twins / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages
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A week or so before Christmas, I took a look at Minnesota Twins infielder Jorge Polanco as a potential fit for the Chicago Cubs. After all, the Twins are reportedly listening on him, as well as Max Kepler, and are seeking pitching in return - something the Cubs have a lot of, at least in terms of depth.

Now, MLB Trade Rumors cast a league-wide net, examining fits between Polanco and various teams and, to the surprise of no one given the team's third base situation, the Cubs joined the Blue Jays and Mariners as the 'best fits' for the former All-Star.

Here's what MLBTR had to say specific to the Cubs after pointing out the team got some of the worst production in the league from its third basemen in 2023, which prompted the deadline move for Jeimer Candelario:

"... while the veteran infielder has primarily played second base during his career, he looked decent at the position when covering for Royce Lewis this past season and the Cubs had little issue converting Nick Madrigal from the keystone to the hot corner last spring. In exchange for Polanco’s services, the Cubs could dangle a young pitching prospect such as Hayden Wesneski or Ben Brown, both of whom have found themselves in the rumor mill this offseason."

MLB Trade Rumors

Internally, Christopher Morel makes the most sense at third. But if the Cubs want to either shift Morel over to first or slot him in as the everyday DH, Polanco could cover the hot corner and bring decent production with the bat with him. The big 'if' comes down to health, as he's played more than 135 games just two times in his 10-year MLB career.

Jorge Polanco offers an above-average bat, sub-par defense

In 2023, he appeared in just 80 games for the Twins, but mustered his second consecutive 115 OPS+ campaign. Since the start of the 2021 season, Polanco owns a .255/.333/.463 slash line and he could be the perfect bridge to quickly-rising prospect Matt Shaw given he's under control through 2024 with a team option for 2025.

A switch-hitter who's consistently been an above-average offensive player throughout his career, Polanco makes sense as a cost-effective alternative to the market's top free agent third baseman in Matt Chapman. Chicago could levy an area of strength, trading from its crop of young arms, address third base, one of the team's biggest needs, and do it all without spending big or getting locked in on a long-term team. This move has Jed Hoyer written all over it.

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