Chicago Cubs may open offseason with shocking free agent signing

For the first time since the Chicago Cubs signed starting pitcher Yu Darvish in 2018, the team is expected to swim in the deep of Major League Baseball free agency this offseason.

Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer told reporters at the end of the season that the team is entering the offseason with the intent of “spending intelligently” and that has added more smoke to the rumors of the Cubs having an active offseason.

The Cubs have been oft-rumored to land one of the four top free-agent shortstops this winter as the likes of Trea Turner, Carlos Correa, Xander Boegaerts, and Dansby Swanson are all expected to hit free agency this winter.

Outside of pursuing one of the top free agent shortstops, there has been very little indication as to what else Hoyer has planned for the offseason.

That may have changed this past weekend as Chicago baseball insider Bruce Levine may have shed light on how the Cubs plan to open free agency this winter. Levine reported on Saturday that the Cubs have made signing free-agent first baseman Jose Abreu a priority this offseason.

Cubs fans should be no strangers to Abreu as he has been a cornerstone of the Chicago White Sox organization for the past nine seasons.

Growing speculation surrounding the White Sox has suggested that the team will move on from Abreu as they currently have a logjam of young, skilled offensive players that are limited defensively.

Opting not to re-sign Abreu would alleviate the logjam and create a clear path to playing time for the likes of Andrew Vaughn and Gavin Sheets. If Abreu’s time with the Sox is at an end, the Cubs should make certain that his time in Chicago is not.

The Chicago Cubs may open their free agency spending with a shocking signing.

Abreu will be 36 at the start of next season but proved this past season that he is still an elite offensive talent. Abreu appeared in all but 5 games for the White Sox in 2022 while posting a slash line of .304/.378/.446/.824 to go along with a 137 wRC+.

First base was a glaring weak spot for the Cubs during the 2022 season. Throughout the 2022 season, Cubs’ first baseman hit .232 with only 17 home runs and a 86 wRC+. Abreu would be an instant upgrade for the Cubs at the position.

Looking beyond the obvious fit at first base, Abreu would be a perfect fit for the Cubs’ clubhouse. Signing him would provide the Cubs with a veteran leader in the clubhouse and a mentor to the top prospects that will be making their way to Wrigley Field over the course of the next few years.