Thursday, February 22, 2024

Cubs Notes: Offer To Abreu, In on Shortstops, Astros Meeting With Contreras


Here are some of the latest reports and rumors surrounding the Cubs.

Cubs Offer Contract to José Abreu

First up is that the Cubs were one of many teams involved with free agent first baseman José Abreu, who, as of now, has signed the biggest contract of the offseason. It was an easy sell for Abreu, who agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract with the World Series champion Houston Astros. While the Cubs weren’t one of the clubs to offer Abreu a three-year deal, according to Matt Spiegel, the Cubs supposedly had a two-year contract in mind for the longtime White Sox first baseman.

Via Cubbies Crib.

Subscribe to the Pinwheels and Ivy Show, a White Sox vs. Cubs podcast made for Chicago fans.

Shoutout to our very own Jordan Campbell for catching this snippet from Tuesday’s Parkins & Spiegel show on 670 WSCR, when co-host Matt Spiegel made passing mention of the Cubs’ rumored offer to longtime White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu – somewhere in the neighborhood of two years and $40 million.

I wanted Abreu on the Cubs to pair up with Matt Mervis in 2023. The fit was good all around and as disappointed as I was when the news first broke of Abreu signing with the Astros, I wasn’t too upset. A two-year deal would have been ideal, but at three years for almost $20 million per season? I’m good. Again, the risk would have been fine for the first two years, but paying Abreu that much in his age 39 season isn’t the best idea.

I’d much rather the Cubs spend a good chunk of money and hope for Cody Bellinger to figure things out offensively, while still playing good defense in center field and playing first base as well if Mervis struggles.

Cubs Still in on Shortstops

ESPN’s Jesse Rogers had a survey answered by a mix of MLB executives and insiders. As it pertains to the Cubs, expectations from this group weren’t all that high. Here are some results.

*number of people picking Cubs out of 12 who answered survey*

Where will the four big free-agent shortstops sign?

Turner: Philadelphia Phillies 6, Dodgers 4, Giants 2
Correa: Yankees 4, Minnesota Twins 3, Giants 3, Chicago Cubs 1, Boston Red Sox 1
Dansby Swanson: Atlanta Braves 6, Cubs 2, Dodgers 2, Giants 2
Xander Bogaerts: Red Sox 4, Giants 4, Dodgers 2, Yankees 1, Cubs 1

Rogers was on MLB Network a few days ago and while discussing the Cubs’ involvement in the shortstop market he mentioned hearing more about Trea Turner and Dansby Swanson when it comes to the Cubs. Right now at least.

But you can pretty much find one story almost every day connecting the Cubs to all four shortstops, as Jeff Passan reported the Cubs are one of Xander Bogaerts’ many suitors at the moment.

Speaking of Bogaerts, things have gotten bad between him and the Red Sox.

Hmmm, does history repeat itself for the Cubs?

Astros Meeting With Willson Contreras

The Astros have already signed one Chicago favorite in José Abreu and they’re on the hunt to get another. Houston is reportedly set to meet with Willson Contreras next week.

Via Ken Rosenthal in The Athletic.

 The Astros are in discussions with free agent Willson Contreras and plan to meet with him at the winter meetings, according to a source briefed on the situation.

Astros owner Jim Crane quashed a Jośe Urquidy-for-Contreras trade at the deadline, as first reported by ESPN. But the circumstances are different now.

Rather than Urquidy, Contreras would cost the Astros their second-highest draft pick and $500,000 from their international bonus pool. Contreras, meanwhile, would not need to worry about losing playing time in the middle of his walk year.

Rosenthal adds that the Astros like Contreras because they believe he can handle some playing time in left field as well to catching and filling in at DH. Since making his MLB debut with the Cubs, Contreras has made 25 starts in the outfield, although 24 of those came in 2016 during his rookie season. So, it’ll be interesting to see how that ends up going if Contreras does eventually sign with Houston.

Meanwhile, the Cubs are showing strong interest in Christian Vázquez, who finished the 2022 season with the Astros after being traded to Houston from the Boston Red Sox.

You can read more about Vázquez and the Cubs here.

Check out the Pinwheels And Ivy Podcast for more offseason talk.

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