Well GOOD morning. Hey, it’s just a rumor, but it’s a big one, and it tracks with a lot of our thinking about where the Chicago Cubs organization should (and maybe will) be heading this offseason.
“Heard something interesting today. Trea Turner? Definitely interested in the Cubs. Definitely. And the Cubs? Mutually interested in Trea Turner.
And guess who else is interested in the Cubs? Carlos Rodon. Yes. Loved pitching in Chicago. Knows that the Cubs are a team with some players coming out of the system, and they need a top of the rotation arm ….
“But I’m just telling you: This team is going to spend, I’m told. For sure. And those are two of the guys they’re targeting.”
We’ve talked about Carlos Rodon as a high-risk, high-reward target for the Cubs this offseason, and Trea Turner is always lumped in with that marquee group of shortstop free agents that the Cubs should definitely be (and are heavily rumored to be) pursuing. If you believe the Cubs are going to spend some money this offseason, with a willingness to commit medium and long-term dollars, these are definitely two of the guys you’d expect them to look at.
In other words, this particular report from Kaplan passes the smell test for me.
I think I would, for today, not get SUPER hung up on the specific names – though Kaplan dropped them for a reason, since that’s clearly who he heard about specifically – and instead would take this report as further underscoring that the Chicago Cubs are serious about making impact additions in free agency this offseason.
(Of course, if the Cubs *DID* look at these two, specifically, it would be slightly beneficial to get both, since they will both be Qualifying Offer guys, and stacking those signings in a single offseason reduces the draft pick cost associated with the signings. For example, the first one would cost the Cubs their second highest draft pick (and $500,000 in IFA bonus pool money), but the second such signing would cost only their third highest draft pick (and another $500,000 in IFA money). So it’s a little more “cost” effective to sign two such players in a single offseason if you’re looking to do it anyway.)
I know some folks are reluctant to see the Cubs playing in the deep end of free agency coming off two terrible years in the standings, but I think all the signs point to it:
- We know that the payroll is bare bones right now, with even more coming off the books after next season.
- We know that the Cubs didn’t sit out pricey free agency (with an eye toward the future) even last year, signing Seiya Suzuki and Marcus Stroman to a total commitment over $170 million. They also seriously pursued Carlos Correa before the lockout.
- We know that there have been many rumors already that the Cubs are going to spend this offseason.
- We know that the clear need is there for another impact bat and impact starting pitcher.
- We suspect that free agents will be able to see the Cubs as a team getting close to turning the corner (especially with the right offseason additions).
- And we suspect that the Cubs do not want another year of selling in 2023.
The Cubs, therefore, being in on guys like Turner and Rodon makes all the sense in the world.
We can, and will, debate whether they’re the right targets and whether the price levels make sense relative to other options, and all that good stuff. But I don’t think it’s really all that debatable that guys LIKE these two make sense for the Cubs this offseason, and Kaplan’s report gives me some level of optimism that the Cubs really will engage in these kinds of pursuits.
The full REKAP video from Dave Kaplan: