Lukewarm Stove: More Cubs-Swanson Smoke, Giants Leading on Correa, Favorite for Ohtani? Marlins Offer Turner, More

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Lukewarm Stove: More Cubs-Swanson Smoke, Giants Leading on Correa, Favorite for Ohtani? Marlins Offer Turner, More

Chicago Cubs

Two stoves in one day? What is this, the Winter Meetings Part II?

More Cubs-Swanson Smoke

On Friday, Jon Morosi jumped on 670 The Score, and he had a lot to say with respect to the Cubs offseason, including the fact that they still have a “good chance” to get one of the two remaining free agent shortstops (Dansby Swanson and Carlos Correa). But the sexier news was his repeated belief that the Cubs are “the most likely landing spot,” for Swanson.

Morosi elaborated, bringing up the multiple Swanson-Chicago connections (his wife plays for the Red Stars, he and Cubs GM Carter Hawkins both went to Vanderbilt) as well as the fact that the Dodgers (resetting under luxury tax?) and Cardinals (not going to spend big on Swanson after spending on Willson Contreras) may no longer be competition.

There is a “a small group of finalists,” in his estimation, and the Cubs are the most likely winners. Cool.

Obviously, we all prefer Correa to Swanson, especially at the price points Morosi started laying out for the former Brave (more on that in a second). But landing *at least* Swanson this offseason would be a very good start for the Cubs. And, for what it’s worth, Morosi seemed to think a Swanson + Sean Murphy (trade) combination was at least theoretically possible, and that could help address some of the needs on offense, while shoring up some of the best up-the-middle defense in MLB. But I just wouldn’t get my hopes up for that. Murphy’s acquisition cost is going to be ENORMOUS.

UPDATE: He was just traded to the Braves.

But about that price point … Morosi is hearing that Swanson’s final contract is going to start at around $200 million. In fact, he was teasing specifically 8/$200M while saying perhaps a “more lucrative” seven-year deal is possible. That’s a LOT of money for a gamble that the improvements – on both sides of the baseball – last season were real.

Also of note: The Giants met with Carlos Correa last week, and Morosi thinks that’s where he ends up: “…to me, Correa and the Giants are the fit ….I think, wants that large market on the coast. That to me is where Correa’s most likely landing spot is.”

He is not alone:

Let’s hope for a resolution soon, because this is getting exhausting.

Other random notes from Morosi’s interview:

  • The Brewers might end up trading Corbin Burnes or Brandon Woodruff after all.
  • The Pirates *are* going to trade Bryan Reynolds.
  • The Cubs aren’t fits for any of the above, in large part because of the shared NL Central.
  • Liam Hendriks is available via trade.
  • The price tag on Sean Murphy is “very high” with at least a dozen teams somewhat interested.

Who Will Land Shohei Ohtani?

The next free agent class (i.e. heading into 2024) offers plenty of excitement with guys like Manny Machado, Rafael Devers, Ian Happ, Jack Flaherty, Jordan Hicks, and so on all available … but the prize is, of course, Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani is a singular talent in the history of baseball and, if he stays healthy enough this year, is likely to command a record-setting free agent deal.

That fact, alone, narrows his realistic market down to like, what, five teams? The Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, Giants, and Red Sox? Maybe you can throw the Cubs, Phillies, Rangers, and Padres in there too, but they each come with pretty big caveats, if you ask me.

But if Jon Morosi is correct, we’re getting ourselves worked up for nothing. According to Morosi’s sources “in the industry,” the Los Angeles Dodgers are the CLEAR favorites. He wouldn’t go as far as saying they have a 50/50 shot, but he did generalize with a belief that it’s basically the Dodgers (40%) vs. Everyone else (60%).

And maybe that’s why the Dodgers are trying to reset themselves under the luxury tax this offseason … gearing up for an historic run at Ohtani?

The Marlins Want Justin Turner (So Do I)

The Miami Marlins have really disappeared from the conversation over the past few years. But that’s an aside, I guess. For today, just note that they are reportedly seeking an established hitter for the infield corner spots, and have already made an offer to free agent 3B Justin Turner: “There are other teams believed to be interested, and the Marlins’ offer is said to be competitive. Turner would play both third base and potentially first base for Miami.”

I actually think Turner could be an interesting, short-term offensive target for the Cubs who could help cover third base and first base in part-time duty.

Remember, Turner had an INSANE second-half with the Dodgers last year (.319/.386/.503; 152 wRC+) and could help the Cubs out at two positions of need. Ultimately, I’d feel pretty good about some combination of Patrick Wisdom, Chris Morel, Justin Turner, and Matt Mervis between first and third base next season. It would give Mervis some time to arrive/adjust and give the Cubs some additional thump in the lineup in the near-term.

And we know the Cubs are open to short-term, high AAV deals for older offensive players (they reportedly offered Jose Abreu 2 years, $40M). Just saying, it’s not the worst idea.



Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami