This weekend, we talked about MLB Trade Rumors’ top free agent list with predictions that the Chicago Cubs would be all over the place, grabbing Jon Lester, Justin Masterson, Jake Peavy, Russell Martin, and David Robertson. It was an aggressive take on the Cubs’ offseason – which, yeah, is expected to be busy and exciting, but that feels a bit too far – but it wasn’t nearly as aggressive as Andy Martino at the New York Daily News has decided to be.
Martino has the Cubs signing Jon Lester and Max Scherzer. The top two arms on the free agent market, with a price tag between them that would well exceed $300 million.
You can read Martino’s piece for a little bit of fun (Lester and Scherzer are the only free agents he predicts going to the Cubs), but I’d caution that it’s extraordinarily unrealistic to project the Cubs actually signing both Lester and Scherzer, and I’d also caution that many of Martino’s contract projections look a little low. Some examples: He’s got Scherzer getting the same six years and $150 million as Lester (if that’s what Scherzer gets, then yes, go for it, Cubs), James Shields getting just four years and $75 million (that would be a great deal), Brandon McCarthy getting just three years and $27 million, and Chase Headley getting just three years and $36 million.
What I find more interesting about Martino’s article is the exclusive focus in the intro on the Cubs. Martino remarks that there is “chatter all over” that the Cubs will try to get two of Lester, Scherzer, and Shields. We’ve heard before that the Cubs could go for Shields as a fall-back to, for example, Lester (and, thus, the Cubs would technically be pursuing both of them), but we’ve not really heard too much talk about the Cubs actually trying to land two of those three. It seems really unlikely, especially given impact pitching depth next offseason, and I’m not even sure it’s my preferred path … but tell me it doesn’t excite you. Just a little.
To be sure, Martino says he’s not trying to present a scoop about the Cubs’ plans, so you should take it with the grain of salt he’s offering. Instead, the focus here is mostly just that the Cubs are a clear team on the rise, and they’ve got the money and the fit to go out and get some top, impact talent this offseason.