We are twelve days from Spring Training and the top four free agents left are all Scott Boras clients. The irony here is the Chicago Cubs could use all four of them to be truly competitive in 2024 and beyond. Two of them are pitchers, one of them played for the Cubs last year and can play first base, and one can play third base.
* WAR – Wins Above Replacement
Snell is the top free agent pitcher left and is an ace-type of pitcher who has had a number of pitching related injuries since the beginning of 2019 slowing his career down and this causing him trouble getting the money Boras is asking for.
Bellinger singed a one year deal with the Cubs last winter with an option year which the Cubs chose not pick up. While he did suffer some injuries the last four years including a knee injury while he was with the Cubs he has averaged 120+ games a season his entire career and is an above average center fielder who proved last year he is not half bad at first base too.
Montgomery has suffered many injuries throughout his career. Including an elbow injury in 2018 which led to Tommy John surgery while he was with the New York Yankees in 2018. He is a number three at best, personally I’d be putting him number four because his experience on any team that is in need of starting pitching.
Chapman is an above average defender at third base. He is also above average with the bat. However with the exception of 2017 and 2020 he has played at least 140 games every season of his career even though he has suffered a number of injuries throughout his career.
Here’s the thing folks: While all four of these guys fill a need the Cubs have and they all have a high WAR rating Boras’ asking price for all four is way too high. Unfortunately, the regional sports television issues which came to a head earlier this winter have made the services of these four guys turn into an unnecessary bidding war because of their injury history.
None of them will break $20 million per season in 2024 and the only one who will get more than a two year deal will be Cody Bellinger because he’s the youngest and the only one who still has his prime years left.
With that… my only question is are we about to see a 2016-esc party when pitchers and catchers report to Cubs camp in Mesa on Valentine’s Day?
If you cannot play with them, then root for them.