The Chicago Cubs have been linked to right-handed hitter Trey Mancini ever since free agency began back in November. In the past week we have still seen Mancini’s name pop up in Cubs rumors, as the team is still attempting to sign at least one more hitter this offseason. However, the latest rumor has Mancini possibly heading back to the DC area.
According to Ben Favela, Mancini and the Washington Nationals are having active negotiations on a one-year contract.
First of all, and I mean this with no disrespect because who the hell am I, but I have never heard of Ben Favela before today. So, how reliable is this Mancini connection with the Nationals? Your guess is as good as mine, but that’s why I’m classifying this as a rumor.
Anyway, a week ago 670 The Score’s Bruce Levine wrote about the Cubs having a few free agents on their radar. Michael Conforto was mentioned, but he signed with the San Francisco Giants shortly after. Levine specifically talked about the Cubs leaning toward wanting a left-handed hitter, naming Eric Hosmer and Dominic Smith as potential free agent targets. It was also the last time we saw Mancini’s name linked to the Cubs.
A few days before, New York Post MLB reporter Jon Heyman brought up the Cubs’ interest in Mancini.
But not much since then. I mean, we are right in the middle of the holiday season, but it’s not like the Cubs haven’t been making other moves during the last week or so, albeit some of those deals may have already been in place before.
Losing Mancini to the Nationals or any other team isn’t a huge blow for the Cubs. To me, not being able to get Conforto was a much bigger gut punch, but signing Mancini would give the Cubs a stable presence at first base. Right now if the Cubs don’t sign another veteran bat, then you can pretty much count on Patrick Wisdom getting some of the playing time at first base, probably some DH and time at third.
But it’s also possible the Cubs may really believe in first base prospect Matt Mervis and think he’ll earn most of the playing time at first and DH in 2023, and the team feels they don’t have to spend resources on a guy like Mancini. However, that would be putting a lot of pressure on the rookie.
Yet, if you really did want Mancini and he ends up somewhere else, then yeah I can’t really fault you for feeling disappointed. He may not be the difference in the Cubs competing for a playoff spot in 2023, but Mancini would be nice insurance if Mervis struggled during his rookie season.
Plus, looking at the other free agent options, not much is out there that would please Cubs fans. Maybe the Cubs do something via trade to address their remaining needs? Earlier this month Jed Hoyer said he preferred to have the Cubs roster locked down by mid-January, so any other significant moves should be happening in the next couple of weeks.
Jed got his guy!