The Chicago Cubs are determined to strengthen their roster to remain World Series contenders in the next several years. The Cubs are in a good position to make big moves in free agency after the 2018 MLB season, and they are already being linked to several possible targets.
The Cubs are heavily connected to Bryce Harper, who will be one of the most coveted players in free agency, because of Kris Bryant. However, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports believes making a run at Baltimore Orioles superstar Manny Machado makes more sense for Chicago than chasing Harper in the offseason.
Heyman believes that Bryant might be a better fit for the Cubs. Machado is determined to continue playing shortstop after shifting from third base. The Cubs already have Addison Russell manning the position, but Heyman pointed out that the 24-year-old shortstop’s slippage could open a spot for Machado.
It is also worth noting that the Cubs tried to acquire Machado in a trade last winter. According to Roch Kubatko of MASN, Chicago was prepared to give up Russell, center fielder Albert Almora, and relief pitcher Mike Montgomery. However, the negotiation between the two teams did not lead to a deal for Machado.
Machado, who has played his entire seven-year career in Baltimore, is hitting 0.308 this season with three home runs and nine RBIs. The 25-year-old, who would be a huge boost to any team next season, is reportedly planning to demand a lucrative deal in the offseason.
The Cubs are looking to save this season in order to put themselves in a good position to acquire a top-tier free agent like Machado. It remains to be seen, though, if they would prioritize signing the Orioles superstar over Harper, who could also bring a new dimension to Chicago in the next several years.
But aside from Chicago, the New York Yankees are also expected to make a strong push to acquire Machado. The Yankees have long been linked to the Florida native. New York also has the ability to break the bank for a free agent, but it is still unknown at this point if they would pursue Machado or just chase another starter in the offseason.
Heyman also tagged the Philadelphia Phillies as a possible landing spot for Machado. He pointed out that the Phillies executive group is quite familiar with the veteran shortstop. Philadelphia also tried to acquire him in a trade last Winter, and Heyman expects them to revisit their interest in free agency.