I’m still tracking down the original audio on this one (UPDATE: Here’s the audio), but with hot stove season still a little bit away, I figured you’d be like me: eager to see and hear everything possible about the Cubs’ offseason plans.
From Dave Kaplan on KXNO in Iowa, via Hot Stove Cubbies:
That all tracks, generally speaking, even if I want to hang on a couple items a little more. We have heard of the Cubs’ interest in Abreu and Senga, and Kaplan has himself previously indicated that the Cubs will be in on Turner.
The two to hang on a bit are the biggest names: Aaron Judge and Jacob deGrom.
We’ve heard about the Cubs’ being a long-shot suitor for Judge this offseason, and the Cubs being limited to a five-year offer – if it came to that – would definitely place them in the verrrry long-shot category. I’ve said before that something like five years and $200 to $250 million might be a mighty interesting way to get Judge a monster AAV and limit risk on the back end, but (1) the Dodgers would be all over that kind of deal, too; and (2) Judge, who is turning 31, is highly likely to care much more about the total guarantee than the AAV. Heck, he’s gonna want both (he can lock in a huge AAV on a very long-term deal AND probably get an opt-out built in anyway).
That is all to say, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Cubs were interested in Judge on a five-year deal, even at a very large AAV. But it would surprise me tremendously if Judge couldn’t get a longer deal/bigger guarantee elsewhere. It’s been reported that the Giants will not be beaten for him financially, for example.
As for deGrom, three years could be enough to be competitive, given the obvious injury risks. We suspect that topping Max Scherzer’s $130 million deal could be the target, and while that might mean beating the AAV ($43.3 million), it might also mean getting four years when Scherzer got only three. If the Cubs are willing to be really aggressive with the annual value, they could approach the top of the market on a three-year deal. I would love, love, love if the Cubs were actually that serious about landing deGrom.
THAT SAID, there has already been a report that money won’t be the deciding factor for deGrom, who may prefer to wind up somewhere closer to his home in Florida (or at least with a team that springs in Florida).
I hope the Cubs pursue deGrom and pursue him seriously. There are enormous injury risks there, yes, but you’re talking about a guy who can be the best pitcher in baseball when he’s healthy. The singular impact he could have on the Cubs in 2023 cannot be overstated.