After an eventful Friday that saw the Chicago Cubs make several roster moves impacting their 40-man roster, Saturday proved to be a slower day for the team and Major League Baseball. There were some rumors that surfaced regarding the Cubs' plans this offseason that revolve around the team wanting to extend Nico Hoerner and Ian Happ to long-term deals, interest in free agent centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier, and interest in pair of free agent New York Mets' starting pitchers. We also took a look at five recently non-tendered players that could be a fit for the Cubs' offseason plans this winter.
Saturday also marked a milestone in the history of the Cubs' organization. Saturday marked the 16-year anniversary of when the team signed free agent outfielder Alfonso Soriano to the largest contract in team history at the time. Soriano signed an 8-year, $136 million contract with the Cubs in the offseason of 2006.
Soriano's time with the Cubs will always be evaluated through the scope of the contract he signed with the team and that would be why some view the signing as a disappointment. In his seven seasons with the team, Soriano was an 8.2 fWAR player. What is inarguable about Soriano and his time with the Cubs is that when he was in a hot stretch offensively, he was the greatest hitter in baseball and his stretches of offensive success would often carry the Cubs--especially in their back-to-back postseason runs in 2007 and 2008.
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2022 was a brutal season in regard to injuries to top Cubs' prospects. Entering 2023, the goal is for Ed Howard, Miguel Amaya, Alexander Canario, and Brennan Davis to successfully return from their respective injuries and continue their climb to the Major League level.
The Cubs could be in play for free-agent starting pitcher Jacob deGrom and there is no reason they shouldn't be. DeGrom is believed to be seeking a short-term deal with a high AAV and that is the type of contract that Cubs' president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer prefers making with free-agent starting pitchers.
Slow day on the news front for Major League Baseball on Saturday but we'll leave you with Melky Cabrera being offended by a bat flip during winter league play.