I have not given it a lot consideration as a result of it was one thing I had been anticipating since the finish of the season, however I suppose it is price noting the official impression of the Rafael Ortega non-tender at the finish of final week.
With Ortega gone, the Cubs have one fewer participant obtainable who can play heart area. To make sure, Ortega was by no means nice on the market, however he was succesful. Almost common, relying in your metric of desire. That the Cubs had been prepared to non-tender him to open up a 40-man spot (and never be on the hook for a $1.7M projected arbitration wage) is additional affirmation that they WILL be including a heart fielder this offseason, as Jed Hoyer has already strongly urged.
Of the present outfielders on the 40-man roster, you may have three who can play heart area if wanted, however none of whom essentially mission as even common there (Christopher Morel, Nelson Velazquez, Ian Happ). You have one other two who might positively play strong heart area… in the event that they had been wholesome and big-league prepared (Brennen Davis and Alexander Canario). You have one who I presume wouldn’t be most popular there, even when he might deal with it (Seiya Suzuki). And you may have one who hasn’t performed above Low-A (Kevin Alcántara).
So, yeah. The Cubs can be including a true heart fielder this offseason. You can name that the unholiest of unholy locks. At different spots the place we very a lot count on the Cubs so as to add, you would no less than realistically say, ah, properly, they might cowl it with these guys internally. Thus, it is no less than CONCEIVABLE that the Cubs do not add at shortstop or first base or catcher or third base or in the rotation or in the bullpen. In heart area, I simply do not see it as real looking.
As you most likely know by now, the market in heart area is actually restricted. At the very excessive finish, you may have Brandon Nimmo, who figures to command a deal properly in extra of 9 figures, which is probably not preferrred for the Cubs who in any other case have power in the farm system in the outfield.
The subsequent tier are a couple of guys to whom the Cubs have been linked, Cody Bellinger and Kevin Kiermaier, however the weak point of the market means the Cubs can be removed from alone there. Still, I believe that is most likely the place the Cubs can be most aggressive, particularly as a result of every of Bellinger and Kiermaier have wonderful gloves and lefty bats.
The second most aggressive? As we have talked about, it is gotta be these Diamondbacks outfielders. Everyone is aware of they’re overloaded with left-hitting heart area sorts, and AT LEAST another can be traded this offseason. Maybe which means a large league teen like Alek Thomas or Jake McCarthy, or perhaps it means a blocked Triple-A man like Dominic Fletcher. I are likely to suppose Daulton Varsho’s versatility and Corbin Carroll’s studness imply they will not be moved. I additionally are likely to suppose Pavin Smith is not actually a heart fielder. But these first three guys? They must be EXTREMELY obtainable, and I believe the Cubs could be very well-advised to contemplate a deal there, whereas additionally pursuing Bellinger and/or Kiermaier.
Elsewhere in free company and on the commerce market, it is simply a entire lot of very imperfect choices. Jackie Bradley Jr. and Brett Phillips cannot hit. Tyler Naquin might be fairly unhealthy in heart area now. Michael A. Taylor is probably not made obtainable by the Royals (and he is a righty). Rafael Ortega – who could be introduced again on a lesser deal – can hit righties however the protection just isn’t nice. And so on and so forth.
We know the Cubs are going to do SOMETHING. My guess is the seemingly outcomes, roughly so as, are Bellinger or Kiermaier, a commerce with the Diamondbacks, or a surprising-ish commerce for somebody we did not even know was obtainable.