There was a belief that veteran free-agent Justin Turner could sign with a new team this week and that belief turned to reality on Tuesday morning.
While the Cubs were believed to be interested in Turner, the former Cub-killer is returning to the American League East for another season as he is signing with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Turner's deal with the Blue Jays was for one year worth $13MM. That's likely right at the mark where the Cubs would have had interest in Turner, where the speculation was he could open the season as the team's third baseman before shifting to being the designated hitter if top prospect Matt Shaw reached the Major League level this season.
The Blue Jays' signing of Turner likely provides the final confirmation that third baseman Matt Chapman will not be returning to Toronto. In his follow up to the reporting of Turner to the Blue Jays, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported that the Cubs and San Francisco Giants remain interested in Chapman.
Both the Giants and Cubs have been linked to Chapman throughout the off-season but there has been an overwhelming expectation that San Francisco would be the team to make the push to sign the perennial Gold Glove winner.
There is no doubt that the Cubs are probably fascinated with the idea of having Chapman's defensive prowess at third base to go along with fellow Gold Glove winners Nico Hoerner and Dansby Swanson in the infield. The issue remains what to make of Chapman's offensive struggles last season as his numbers took a nosedive after the first month.
One thing that the Cubs shouldn't include in the calculus regarding their decision on Chapman is Shaw. Yes, Shaw has quickly ascended to being one of the top prospects in the Cubs' system and there is a chance that he could have an impact on the 2024 roster. But, the Cubs can not view that chance as a certainty. The idea of having Chapman performing well at third base with Shaw on the rise is a good problem to have. It beats the revolving door at the third base position last season for the Cubs hat included Miles Mastrobuoni and Nick Madrigal.