I don’t *think* there will be a ton of “oh yeah, that guy” when laying out the Chicago Cubs’ impending free agents, but it’s not something we’ve done in a harmonized way yet in this early offseason, so I figure I should make a spot for it instead of just continuing to mention them ad hoc.
These are the guys who are currently scheduled to become free agents after the conclusion of the World Series:
- RHP Steve Cishek, 33
- LHP Cole Hamels, 35
- LHP Derek Holland, 33
- RHP Brandon Kintzler, 35
- RHP Brandon Morrow, 35
- RHP David Phelps, 33
- RHP Pedro Strop, 34
- C Jonathan Lucroy, 33
- OF Nick Castellanos, 27
- UTL Ben Zobrist, 38
Note that this does not include Yu Darvish or Jason Heyward, who can opt out, but I reckon they will not (Heyward is obvious, Darvish is only slightly less obvious). It also does not include Kendall Graveman, on whom the Cubs hold a $3 million club option. I did include David Phelps, on whom the Cubs have a $5 million option that I expect they’ll decline. Same for the decisions to decline options on Derek Holland and Brandon Morrow.
There are obviously other guys who could wind up free agents or shipped out in dump deals akin to free agency, but that’s the group as things stand right now.
If Cole Hamels does not receive a qualifying offer (about $18 million, with the reward being a mere pick after the 4th round, so … ), he hits free agency for the first time in his career. It’s not impossible to see the Cubs and Hamels coming back together later in the offseason depending on other moves, but it’s more likely, if the Cubs add to the rotation, it’s going to be a younger power arm.
You could see the Cubs looking to re-up with a re-invigorated Brandon Kintzler, and we’ve already talked about the possibility of bringing back Pedro Strop on a modest deal. Steve Cishek’s market will be interesting, given his ups and downs with the Cubs, good overall results, and heavy workload.
Ben Zobrist may continue playing, but it’s not clear there will be a spot for him with the Cubs if he does seek another deal to extend his career.