The Chicago Cubs and the rest of Major League Baseball appear to be in a holding pattern this offseason as teams wait for the first major free-agent signing in an attempt to allow for the dominoes to fall. Free agent starting pitcher Tyler Anderson did sign a three-year, $39 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels last week. The fallout moves did not occur after that signing as teams may be waiting for the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings to happen two weeks from today. Major League Baseball insider Jon Heyman did his weekly hit on 670 The Score on Tuesday morning and offered an update on the Cubs’ offseason plans.
Christian Vazquez appears to be an emerging name in the Cubs’ search for a replacement for Willson Contreras at the catching position. Vazquez first appeared in the Cubs’ rumor mill last week and Heyman definitely believes the former Houston Astros catcher is a name that the Cubs are seriously considering. Vazquez certainly fits the mold of the type of catcher the Cubs prefer at the position as he has above-average framing skills behind the dish and would also be an offensive improvement from what the Cubs already have at the position in Yan Gomes.
The Cubs, of course, are no strangers to the shortstop market this offseason. Carlos Correa remains the free-agent shortstop that makes the most sense for the Cubs and their goals this offseason. However, there is certainly reason to believe that the Cubs may not be willing to go to the lengths of at least $300MM on a potential deal. If that is the case, it seems more likely that Xander Bogaerts may be the shortstop that falls to the Cubs this offseason.
Cody Bellinger has been the popular name in the Cubs’ rumor mill over the course of the past week. In regard to Bellinger, it is important that Cubs fans understand the lens through which this move would be made. Bellinger’s signing would be providing the Cubs with a temporary stopgap in center field that would be a significant defensive upgrade while bridging the gap between now and when top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong is ready. Bellinger’s MVP past gives his name a certain amount of flash but let’s not overstate the signing for what it means in regard to the long-term for the Cubs.
All has been quiet on the Cubs’ front with Japanese starting pitcher Kodai Senga. Senga’s agent confirmed earlier in the offseason that the Cubs have had multiple meetings regarding their interest in the starting pitcher, but nothing has been mentioned recently. Senga, meanwhile, has drawn interest from multiple suitors with the New York Mets and San Diego Padres being the recent teams to be connected.