In the off season many fans, including myself, have blinders on where it comes to the players they want their favorite team to sign and trade for. There are always options that we as fans are not seeing that’s the reason I have been tracking two big MLB story lines involving free agency and one involving possible trades. These three stories are those of Cody Bellinger the top free agent left on the market this winter, Yoshinobu Yamamoto the top picture available from Japan, and the rumored Tyler Glasnow trade.
Last night it was announced that the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays agreed on a trade that will send Glasnow to Dodgers stadium. This is pending Glasnow agreeing on an extension with the Dodgers. I’ve seen fans on social media asking why the Cubs would not want to trade for Glasnow and extend him as part of the trade.
At the end of the day, I believe based on what I’ve been hearing from reporters and analysts the Rays were asking for a kings ransom and the Cubs did not want to sell their farm to bring Glasnow in. Instead it sounds like they are going to do what they can to sell Yamamoto on coming to Chicago based on things I’ve been reading.
While Yamamoto does want to play with other Japanese players and the Cubs Seiya Suzuki they will still to a very tough time selling him on coming to Chicago. Why, you ask? Simple. The Dodgers had a meeting that included Shohei, Mookie Betts, and Freddie Freeman along with Yamamoto and his agents. It goes deeper than that too. Since Shohei has a ton of deferred money the Dodgers have the money to throw at Yamamoto immediately and possibly even sign him to a ten year deal from the onset.
There are still other big names out there. Many reporters and analysts have said in the last few days the definitely expect the Hoyer has something up his sleeve. This brings me to the Cody Bellinger news I’ve been hearing.
A few days ago Juan Soto was traded to the Yankees who were expected to throw $350 to $400 million at Bellinger. Between that as well as some signings and trades involving other outfielders around the league over the last ten days there are many reports floating around that a Bellinger reunion with the Cubs is appearing to be more likely.
Here’s the thing: Jed Hoyer Cubs fans will not accept the biggest headline of the offseason being the Craig Counsell signing. Also, Counsell will not be happy if Hoyer does not plug up some of the holes the team had in 2023 with players who are on multi-year deals. So, as a result of both of those things Hoyer might be looking past the penalty of losing a draft pick by bringing Bellinger back and getting more serious not only about Yamamoto.
Bringing Bellinger back would give the Cubs a solid First Baseman and allow them to trade Patrick Wisdom as a minor piece in a deal to get some relief pitching or a hitter to be the starting designated hitter who can also play first/third base.
You are probably asking yourself why I said am suggesting Bellinger would be the starting first baseman. Well, think about it, Pete Crow-Armstrong is expected to be on the Major League roster on opening day so he would be the the starting Center Fielder.
So, having Bellinger and then trading Wisdom as part of a deal to bring another hitter in who can defend the corners would give Counsell options when Morel, Crow-Armstrong, or Bellinger need a day off. Best of all the lineup would not take the major hit it would with Wisdom, who can’t hit for his life, starting most days.
With that… the wait for a big signing continues in Wrigleyville as the hot stove keeps getting hotter.
If you cannot play with them, then root for them.