The Cubs are continually linked to the big four free agent shortstops, but didn’t we hear the same thing last winter? Last year’s entries on the open market were Javier Báez, Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Trevor Story, and Marcus Semien. Seager and the Cubs seemed like a perfect match for a brief moment and each of those players had varying degrees of success with their new teams. Here are their 2022 stats per Baseball-Reference, with Nico Hoerner added for comparison.
- Correa .291/.366/.834, 140 OPS+, 5.4 WAR
- Seager .245/.317/.772, 119, 4.1
- Semien .248/.304/.733, 108, 5.7
- Story .238/.303/.737, 102, 2.5
- Báez .238/.278/.671, 93, 2.5
- Hoerner .281/.327/.736, 107, 4.5
Báez and Seager are rumored to be on the trade block and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Red Sox gauged Story’s market, too. The class of free agents includes Correa, Dansby Swanson, Trea Turner, and Xander Bogaerts. None will come cheaply and, as was the case last season, Correa is being heavily linked to the Cubs. Last March, Sahadev Sharma and Patrick Mooney mentioned that some members of the Cubs’ organization viewed Correa as a perfect fit following the Andrelton Simmons pickup.
“Even with Simmons in the fold, Correa still makes sense as there are those within the organization who see him as a perfect fit,” Sharma and Mooney wrote for The Athletic. “[Nico] Hoerner could then shift to center or a super-utility role and the Cubs would have the type of depth and flexibility that David Ross desires. It’s hard to deny that the Cubs have a need — beyond the glove, they could certainly use his bat — and money to spend.”
Dansby Swanson pic.twitter.com/KD68PqQ9TB
— MLB Deadline News (@MLBDeadlineNews) October 25, 2022
Correa still makes sense for the Cubs and Hoerner’s flexibility would allow him to shift back to second base, where he might be even more valuable. I like Turner a little more, but he’ll probably sign with an East Coast team if he doesn’t re-up with the Dodgers. If Jed Hoyer pursues Bogaerts, I’d prefer he play third base. I won’t even speculate on Swanson until I feel comfortable that he’ll truly leave the Braves.
Correa will command $275-325 million over nine years and will have plenty of other suitors. That’s a heck of a lot of cabbage to throw at one player. The Cubs also need an anchor arm for the rotation, a third baseman, a centerfielder, a first baseman, and a stud reliever. You can forget about trading for Shohei Ohtani if the Cubs sign Correa or any other shortstop. It’s tough to decipher what Hoyer means by intelligent spending, but a nine-year deal seems outside whatever those parameters may be. I’d rather he throw $85 million over two years at Justin Verlander and work out a trade with the Angels for their two-way superstar.
Cubs News & Notes
- The Cubs have +1250 odds to land stud outfielder Aaron Judge this winter. I wonder if Tom Ricketts enjoys a challenge.
- Seiya Suzuki is the present and the future in right field.
- Shane Bieber stands to make upwards of $10 million in arbitration this winter. That could make the starter fodder for trade, at which point the Cubs should be in the mix.
- Outfielder Michael Hermosillo is one of 13 players who elected to enter free agency on Tuesday.
Odds & Sods
Nobody had a follow-through like Mitch Williams. It was spectacularly glorious, actually.
— Vintage Jerseys & Hats (@PolyesterUnis) October 26, 2022
Postseason News & Notes
Agent Leigh Steinberg told Front Office Sports’ Michael McCarthy that Judge could land a 10-year, $500 million contract in free agency.
Keep an eye on the Rangers, who could be baseball’s biggest spenders this winter.
In addition to hiring a new manager, the White Sox appear to be primed for a major roster shakeup following a disappointing 2022 season.
Until there’s more clarity with regard to the Angels’ ownership situation, the rest of the club’s offseason plans figure to be shrouded in mystery as well.
MLB sponsorships grew 5.6% to $1.19 billion in 2022. The study reveals that the biggest spenders by sector were banks, beer, and insurance. It is also expected that those revenues will grow in 2023 when sponsorship patches are added to big league uniforms.
— MLB's Arizona Fall League (@MLBazFallLeague) October 23, 2022
Wednesday Morning Six-Pack
- Justin Fields led a postgame line dance in the Bears’ locker room after Monday night’s win over the Patriots.
- The win was great and another benchmark game for young Bears like Jaquan Brisker and Kyler Gordon, but the trade deadline is November 1, and some veterans, such as Robert Quinn, could be moved for draft picks.
- Hello, darkness, my old friend: Starting today, the sun sets prior to 6 pm for most US cities. Additionally, we “fall back” in about 10 days. Fun times.
- You’ll need plenty of Vaseline if you want to carve a perfect pumpkin for Halloween.
- Dead Letter Office is one of the best albums R.E.M. has ever released, regardless of what Spin magazine says. “Band Wagon,” “Burning Down,” and “Voice of Harold” are gems.
- Today’s PSA: Please keep your falling leaves out of landfills by choosing not to bag them.
They Said It
- “Outside of it, personally, I think [shift restrictions] are good for the game. I think that it kind of goes back to baseball as we’ve always known it. There [are] going to be some more double-play opportunities, potentially. And I don’t think it’s something that’s going to dramatically change the landscape of the game… It’ll change the game visually a little bit. You’re not going to have a guy roaming around out there [in shallow right field]. And personally, I will miss doing that. I like playing that position. I like the unique aspects of those plays and being creative with that.” – Hoerner
Wednesday Walk-Up Song
My alarm clock ear-wormed me this morning so I thought I’d pay it forward.