Cubs Rumors: Phillies set to meet with shortstops before winter meetings

Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres - Game Four
Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres - Game Four / Harry How/GettyImages

The Chicago Cubs have the goal of signing one of the top four free-agent shortstops this offseason but the team may be forced to wait until the Philadelphia Phillies make their decision in regard to which shortstop to sign. There has been a growing expectation that the Phillies will be signing Trea Turner this offseason but Jayson Stark of The Athletic reports that the team will be meeting each of the four shortstops--Turner, Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts, and Dansby Swanson--before the start of Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings.

"The Phillies have scheduled meetings with all four of the marquee free-agent shortstops before the start of the Winter Meetings on Monday in San Diego, major-league sources told The Athletic. Those sessions represent one more flashing neon sign that the Phillies are preparing to move quickly to sign a star shortstop, possibly even before the meetings end Wednesday. It isn’t known which order the club has scheduled those meetings. But indications are that they will sit down with both Scott Boras clients — Carlos Correa and Xander Bogaerts — this weekend. "

The Athletic

The Cubs will need to be prepared to act quickly. Once the Phillies make a decision and assuming that decision will be to sign Turner, two things will happen. The market will set for Carlos Correa and create a trickle-down effect for both Bogaerts and Swanson. In addition, all eyes will be on the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers are involved on the outer levels of the market for free-agent Aaron Judge and once Judge makes a decision and chooses a team that likely will not be Los Angeles, the team may pivot to the shortstop market. The Dodgers being involved in the shortstop market is bad news for the Cubs as they likely would be easily outbid for any of the three remaining shortstops.

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It goes without saying that next will be a pivotal week for the Cubs' offseason. For the past year and a half, the Cubs have had this offseason circled as the winter where they would be able to add an impact player by signing one of the free-agent shortstops. If by the end of the Winter Meetings, the Cubs have missed on each of the four free-agent shortstops, the path to the team's return to contention will be much more cloudy.