Latest Juan Soto rumor is a sign that the Chicago Cubs are not taken seriously

Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees
Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees / Luke Hales/GettyImages

Juan Soto is the primary reason why the New York Yankees are a legitimate threat to win the World Series this season and that is a reminder that he will be the prize of Major League Baseball Free Agency next winter.

Soto would be a prime target for the Chicago Cubs this offseason, but given the reluctance that Jed Hoyer has had in handing out the large contracts, the Cubs aren't even among the teams in the early consideration to sign the superstar outfielder.

Jon Heyman of the New York Post ran down the early list of favorites to sign Soto this season, and the Cubs were not mentioned.

Though there’s sure to be outside interest in 25-year-old superstar Juan Soto — the Mets, Dodgers, Phillies and Red Sox are obvious potential outside suitors — some rival GMs are starting to wonder if there’s a real chance he’d leave the Yankees

- Jon Heyman, New York Post

For years, the Cubs were at the center of a practice known as the "Chicago leverage". The concept was that while the Cubs were often not in a position to sign the top free agents, they would often be linked to the free agent as a way to drum up interest from rivals. Of course, a player with the stature of Soto does not have that type of concept to drum up interest, but the fact that the Cubs weren't even mentioned as an "obvious potential outside suitor" is a sign of the lack of seriousness that MLB talent evaluators have for the North Siders.

If Hoyer wants to fully prop open the Cubs' contention window, he will need to stretch beyond his comfort zone and land a superstar player like Soto. Otherwise, the Cubs will always be a team that needs every domino to fall in their direction in order to have a winning season.