If the Giancarlo Stanton trade saga is holding up the broader market by trickling down on the team and free agent sides, it sounds like it isn’t holding up the Chicago Cubs from trying to make something happen.
Tonight, Bruce Levine reports that the Cubs DO have “a few offers on the table for starting pitching and relief specialists,” and Alex Cobb is “believed to be” one of the starting pitchers mulling over an offer from the Cubs.
None of that is entirely surprising, given this front office’s long-standing penchant for targeting their top free agent choices early in the offseason and trying to make something happen quickly.
It’s especially unsurprising on the Cobb front, given that we know they did reach out to him early in free agency. With the market at a standstill, though, even those extremely significant and openly-discussed connections between the Cubs and Cobb haven’t yet resulted in a deal. Moreover, the Cubs aren’t the only team in on Cobb, as we’ve heard about the Yankees, Rangers, Orioles, and Twins all being connected to him, too. Perhaps the Cubs are holding fast to a conservative offer on Cobb for now, hoping that he truly means it when he says his choice won’t primarily be about the money. (Much more on what I think is a reasonable price tag for Cobb here.)
It’s slightly more surprising to learn that the Cubs have offer(s) on the table on the relief side of things, given what a deep and impressive pool it is this year – the Cubs could afford, for that reason, to take their time and swoop in much later in the offseason.
… of course, that approach might save you some dollars, but it also might prevent you from getting the one or two guys you really believe are the best bets (whatever tier they might fall into). Coming into the offseason, I expected the Cubs to land at least one of their most preferred reliever targets early, and then sit back and get aggressive later on in the reliever market. I still expect that, though “early” is now a relative term in this year’s free agency, given that the calendar is about to flip to December.
We’ll hopefully see more movement in the coming days, but, as discussed earlier today, that may well require movement on the Stanton front first.