On Tuesday, October 11, Chicago Cubs team Chairman Tom Ricketts sent a letter to Cubs fans in which he stated that Cubs President of Baseball Operations, Jed Hoyer, would have whatever he needed this offseason to make the Cubs successful again.
“We will be active in free agency and have the necessary resources available to substantially supplement our current roster,” Ricketts wrote. “As Jed [Hoyer] has demonstrated, we will be driven by intelligent decision-making as we build a roster that can win games in the postseason – year in and year out.”
This statement is consistent with what Ricketts said a year ago in an end-of-season letter to fans, in which he stated that the Cubs had all the resources necessary to compete in 2022 and beyond, which saw the Chicago Cubs sign Japanese star Seiya Suzuki and starting pitcher Marcus Stroman as the team’s biggest additions.
Hoyer expressed excitement for the offseason during a media meeting in which he gave a season recap.
“We’ll be aggressive to try to fill those holes in the best way possible. I think we can definitely compete next year, and we also want to create something lasting and special.”
His comments suggest that the Cubs are willing to spend a lot of money to finally compete and be successful.
Many names have been linked to the Cubs this season; however, let us speculate on what the big moves for the Cubs this offseason could be.
Wilson Contreras, C
After Wilson Contreras declined the Chicago Cubs’ $19.65 million qualifying offer, the Cubs’ catcher position is truly depleted.
The Cubs’ current catcher options are only 23-year-old Miguel Amaya and 35-year-old Yan Gomes.
Although Yan Gomes has played over 3000 games in his career, he is no Contreras and should not be considered a starting option for any team in the league at this time.
Miguel Amaya is still a Cubs prospect who has yet to play in the big leagues, making him an unsuitable option for the Cubs.
Making an effort to bring Contreras back would be the best move, especially since there is no better option on the open market than Contreras.
The fact that the team was unwilling to part ways with the Catcher at the previous two deadlines makes it a very likely reunion.
Contreras will undoubtedly demand a high salary in free agency, especially given his status as one of the most productive offensive players at his position. He has already stated that he enjoys playing in Chicago and he is also a fan favorite and one of the few survivors from the World Series run in 2016.
The Cubs’ cheapest option at catcher could be 29-year-old Jorge Alfaro or 32-year-old Christian Vazquez.
Dansby Swanson, SS
Ranked as the fight-best free agent, Dansby Swanson is projected to sign a seven-year, $154 million contract. Swanson would be 29 years old at the start of the 2023 season.
Dansby Swanson was offered and rejected a qualifying offer of $19.65 million by the Atlanta Braves and is now expected to earn around $22 million.
Swanson had a.277/.329/.447 slash line with 25 home runs, 96 RBI, and 18 stolen bases last season while playing in all 162 games and remains one of the better defensive shortstops in MLB.
If the Cubs decide to pursue Dansby Swanson or any other free agent who declined a Qualifying offer, they will have to give up a draft pick as well as some bonus pool money, which should not concern the Cubs because their farm system has grown much deeper and their projected draft pick will be worse than this year.
Nico Hoerner, the Chicago Cubs’ current shortstop, is 25 years old and had a .281/.327/.737 season with 10 home runs, 55 RBI, and 20 stolen bases.
With the possible addition of Dansby Swanson, Nico Hoerner could be moved to second base.
Carlos Correa, Xander Bogarets, and Trea Turner are other candidates for the Shortstop position.
Many baseball fans will be surprised if Swanson signs with the Chicago Cubs, as many baseball writers predicted, but signing Dansby Swanson would be a significant upgrade for the Chicago Cubs, adding a very good bat and, more importantly, a very good defender.
This will be a difficult deal for the Cubs, especially since Swanson expects to sign a seven-year contract and the Cubs do not want to sign players for more than six seasons.
Run it back ATL @hurstmadeit pic.twitter.com/RjTokrAVD8
— Dansby Swanson (@LieutenantDans7) April 7, 2022
Sean Manaea, SP
Sean Manaea is a left-handed starting pitcher who was very effective for the Oakland A’s since making his MLB debut in 2016. Last season, he had a 3.91 ERA in 179.1 innings, but then struggled and was a disaster with the San Diego Padres in 2022.
The Cubs are in desperate need of a starting pitcher, so signing Sean Manaea would not be surprising. The challenge for the Cubs’ pitching staff would be to get Manaea back into shape.
A deal of around 4 years, $52 million is what Manaea is projected to get.
The Cubs starting pitchers aren’t the best in the league, and names like Carlos Rodón, Noah Syndergaard, and Andrew Heaney could be other options, with Rodón being the most prominent name on that list but also the most expensive compared to Manaea.
The two-time All-Star Rodón declined a $19.65 million qualifying offer from the San Francisco Giants making the 29-year-old pitcher a free agent. Rodón is projected to sign a $140 million over five years contract. Last season Rodón had a 2.88 ERA with 14W 8L, 178 IP, 237 SO and 1.03 WHIP.
Noah Syndergaard had a 3.94 ERA over 134 ⅔ frames for the Angels and Phillies, finishing with a 10-10 score, 95 and 1.8 WAR.
Andrew Heaney had a career-best 3.10 ERA after pitching 14 games for the Dodgers. He signed a one year, $8.5 million deal last winter, but is projected to forecast a three-year $42 million contract following his amazing season.
Sean Manaea had it going today. pic.twitter.com/nHujYDcYyf
— MLB (@MLB) May 14, 2022<