Tyler Lowe 11/24/2017
Last week, I dove into some of the possible Cubs trade partners. However, there’s a good chance the Cubs decide to stand pat on the trade front, opting to stick with all of their young position player core. In this case, the Cubs will need to be aggressive in free agency. Starting and relief pitching will be the main priority, but the Cubs have been rumored to be looking for a leadoff hitter as well. I’ll give you my list of the Cubs’ potential free agent targets here with the contract I ultimately think they’ll receive in free agency.
1) Alex Cobb
This guy makes almost to much sense to me for the Cubs. His great relationship with new pitching coach Jim Hickey has been stated on numerous occasions. He’s only 30 years of age, and won’t even turn 31 until the 2018 MLB postseason. Compared to Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish, he’s going to be relatively cheap. Cobb would be my #1 priority this winter.
Contract: 4 years, $52 million
2) Wade Davis
If this were last offseason, I would have let Davis walk like the Cubs did with Aroldis Chapman. However, that was back when I thought Carl Edwards Jr. was ready to take over the 9th inning and Hector Rondon would bounce back nicely from his 2016 forearm injury. In 2017, Edwards Jr. was overall not bad, but he was inconsistent and completely lost his control in the playoffs. Rondon did not bounce back nicely from his forearm injury, and now is a non-tender candidate. Even though signing a 32-year-old relief pitcher to a big money deal isn’t ideal, letting Davis walk would leave the Cubs’ bullpen bare.
Contract: 4 years, $56 million
3) Addison Reed
Addison Reed is an elite setup man, and that’s the role I would want the Cubs to sign him for. This one could become a long shot if other teams see Reed as their answer in the 9th inning and give him a high dollar, multiyear deal. But Reed is a proven strike thrower, have walked less than 1.8 batters per 9 innings in each of the last two seasons. The Cubs’ bullpen struggled to throw strikes all year, and their meltdown in the playoffs was mostly due to poor control. If the Cubs can get Reed at reasonable price for less than 4 years (which is unlikely), I am all for it. However, I wouldn’t expect them to retain Davis if they signed Reed.
Contract: 4 years, $34 million
4) Lance Lynn
Lynn isn’t as great of a fit as Cobb in my opinion, but he would be a quality pick up. With the Cardinals, Lynn proved that he can eat up innings year in and year out. After Tommy John surgery kept him out all of 2016, Lynn came back and returned to his usual form in 2017. I think him and Cobb will receive similar contracts so don’t expect the Cubs to sign both guys.
Contract: 5 years, $70 million
5) Cameron Maybin
Maybin is coming off a subpar year with the Angels and Astros so he should be able to be signed for a 1 year contract. The Cubs lack overall team speed, and Maybin could really help in this department. He has some leadoff experience and the Cubs don’t have a clear leadoff option on their roster. If Maybin is signed, I wouldn’t expect him to play every day. I would like to see Albert Almora Jr. play the majority of the time in center field, but Maybin could be bought low and help provide speed and outfield depth.
Contract: 1 year, $5 million