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Are the Cubs Not Done Shopping for Free Agents?

The biggest off-season question has been answered with the signing of Cody Bellinger to a 3-year, $80 million contract.  While this deal has advantages and disadvantages to it, one thing it does is ensure that the Cubs’ most productive player last year will be back in the lineup.  His .307 batting average and .881 OPS were enough to earn him a top-ten MVP slot.  Furthermore, he was easily the most feared hitter in the Cubs lineup last season.

Some may view the opt-outs after each season as a disadvantage, but it is a gamble the front office is willing to take.  Even if Bellinger decides to opt-out after year one, the hope is that prospects such as Pete Crow-Armstrong, Michael Busch, Alexander Canario, and Matt Mervis will be ready to take the reins at a much cheaper price.

Therefore, the contract seems to be a real win/win for both sides.  Looking forward, now that Bellinger is back, are the Cubs still in play for the other three Boras clients that still have yet to sign?  Which one is the most likely to sign with the Cubs?

Blake Snell

The reigning Cy Young Award winner has been rumored to be going to the Yankees.  However, it seems the market has not bore out the contract he has been looking for in his long-term future. Would Snell be interested in a deal similar to that of Bellinger’s?  It could make sense with multiple opt-outs or a very high annual average value on a shorter deal.  If either of these are the case, Snell could very easily be a candidate for the Cubs.  Jed Hoyer has a track record of not giving pitchers long-term deals.

Jordan Montgomery

Jordan Montgomery became a fantastic mid-season acquisition for the Rangers and propelled them to the World Series.  His combined 4.2 WAR with St. Louis and Texas last year was fantastic, given the timing of his contract status.  However, I suspect that teams are still not willing to give more than three years to the 31-year-old.  Similar to Snell, the Cubs could go with a short-term, opt-out filled contract for just two years.

From Montgomery’s perspective, he may be viewing this as his last chance to get the “big” contract.  Having never made more than $10 million per year previously, this could be his chance to cash in.  The Red Sox have been rumored to be in on his services, but he’s still out there.

Matt Chapman

The Cubs have been impressed with the development of Christopher Morel.  It certainly didn’t hurt that he led off his spring training with a bomb.  Chicago may not want to stunt the further development of Morel or Busch so signing Chapman, now that they have Bellinger, may be a long shot.  Like Montgomery, Chapman will be 31 in May so a long-term deal seems to be out of the question for the Northsiders.


It would signal that Chicago means business this year and are trying to compete not only for a division title but a World Series.  If the dollars and years can match up, I believe that Snell would be the most likely to sign with Chicago. The Cubs have a ton of young arms on the way. A one-year deal would solidify a starting rotation and not prohibit these arms from their continued development.  Either way, expect all three to sign quickly now that Bellinger’s deal is done.

Photo Credit: © Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports


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