Other Things Happening Around Baseball This Evening: Martinez, Turner, Hedges

The big deal of the day – not just for the Cubs, but around baseball – was of course the Dansby Swanson signing, which will see the Cubs land the last of the top four shortstops on a reported seven-year, $177 million deal.

Other things happening this evening …

With Swanson in the fold, the Cubs reeeeeally have to turn their attention to adding at least one quality bat at third, first, an outfielder to rotate, and/or at DH (and there’s overlap, obviously, as guys move around). I was not crazy about adding a DH-only guy, but I wouldn’t have complained about J.D. Martinez, who tonight is signing with the Dodgers:

Perfectly good and fine deal for Martinez, 35, who wasn’t GREAT as a pure DH last year (.274/.341/.448/119 wRC+), but definitely still provides offense. The Cubs would love to add a bat of that caliber. (Something something get on the horn with Justin Turner already.)

Speaking of Turner, you wonder if the Red Sox are going to turn to him as something of a utility/DH to replace Martinez’s bat:

Another glove-first catcher is off the board, with Austin Hedges headed to the Pirates:

Hedges, 30, is outstanding behind the plate. His numbers in San Diego in his early days were almost comically bonkers, though they have waned to merely “really quite good” in recent years. The thing is, he can’t hit. Not just “ah, he’s one of those catchers who doesn’t hit much.” I mean, he CAN NOT HIT: .171/.238/.289/44 wRC+ over the last four seasons. You can maybe tolerate it if he’s the best defensive catcher in baseball and a pitcher-whisperer before, during, and after games. But there’s gotta be a line somewhere. I mean, that’s some Koyie Hill business there.

There are still some plausible catchers out there for the Cubs to pair with Yan Gomes (and allow P.J. Higgins to be the third catcher), but none are going to knock your socks off (absent a trade with the Blue Jays).

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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