Lukewarm Stove: Cubs' Non-Shortstop Pursuits, Swanson Hefty Price Tag, Mets and Senga, Vazquez, More

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Lukewarm Stove: Cubs’ Non-Shortstop Pursuits, Swanson Hefty Price Tag, Mets and Senga, Vazquez, More

Chicago Cubs

Stray Lukewarm Stove action on a Friday night. Pretty unusual, but there was just some stuff that I wanted to get to this evening that couldn’t wait until tomorrow …

  • The Cubs are indeed waiting on the two remaining shortstops a bit, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have other items to check off the list:
  • Mancini, as we’ve discussed, is more of a “fine” addition than a particularly impactful one (unless he has a huge bounce-back year, which I suppose is possible). A back-up plan for Jose Abreu, but not really close to the same tier. I would have no problem with the Cubs adding him, but ideally it would be as a complementary move where there are more obvious upgrades taking place.
  • As for catcher and starting pitching, we know the Cubs clearly want to add an additional one of each. Maybe that means a free agent like Christian Vazquez, maybe that means a trade like Sean Murphy. And maybe it means a free agent like Kodai Senga or Chris Bassitt or Corey Kluber, maybe it means a surprising trade (I wonder if the Cubs would still try to get Jose Urquidy from the Astros for a modest return). I know it’s hard to think about things other than shortstop right now, but getting the right pieces at these other spots matters a great deal, too. I actually think Vazquez and Senga, if that happened, would be pretty huge. Other options are fine, too, though again, they fall into that same Mancini tier of not being particularly exciting.
  • Speaking of the shortstops – always the shortstops! – some thoughts from Jon Morosi that Matt and Brad caught live:
  • I think it could be hard to justify $200+ million on Swanson, even in this market. You would have to believe that his breakout on offense this past season was not a BABIP mirage (the underlying indicators are a bit conflicting), and that his super-elite defense is also repeatable to some extent. I mean, I guess if you knew for sure that both things would continue into next season, he’d be a $300 million guy in this market (he was a 6+ WAR player in 2022! It’s just that people DON’T expect him to repeat that).
  • It turns out the Angels were a mystery team on Willson Contreras, which suggests they could be in on the other available catchers, too (though I’m not sure they could get together with the A’s on a major intradivisional trade like Murphy). The Angels have Max Stassi and Logan O’Hoppe, though, so I wonder if they were looking at Contreras as more of a part-time catcher, part-time DH? On the days Shohei Ohtani doesn’t DH? I don’t know. It’s a bit of a weird fit, and I mostly just don’t want them to be in on Christian Vazquez.
  • The Mets are spending like crazy under Steve Cohen, and they aren’t finished yet. Maybe they bring back Chris Bassitt, or maybe they just pony up another $100+ million for Kodai Senga:
  • I was reminded of this, and it left me really annoyed again:
  • Random thought this morning:
  • This will be HUGE news soon, because Murakami is a stud, though for now, it’s still kinda multiple years away:

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.