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Rumor: MLB insider drops bold prediction for Cubs’ free agency plans

Cubs, Jed Hoyer

For any teams looking for a boost at shortstop, the upcoming MLB free agency period will be just the time to revamp their depth at the position.

Multiple All-Star shortstops are set to be out of a contract later this year, including Los Angeles Dodgers’ Trea Turner and Atlanta Braves’ Dansby Swanson. More so, Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts and Minnesota Twins infielder Carlos Correa will be able to opt out of their respective contracts.

Overall, the Chicago Cubs could end up going all out to sign one of these such talents.

During a recent episode of “The Athletic Baseball Show” podcast, MLB insider Ken Rosenthal spoke about possible early plans for the Cubs in free agency, where he predicted that the NL Central club “will” end up hauling in one of the “big shortstops.”

“The question ultimately becomes, and this is the test that they’re going to have this offseason, ‘Okay, you’ve taken the payroll down, but you’re a big market team,” Rosenthal said. “You are not the Pittsburgh Pirates, okay? You should be spending money.’ And the Cubs sorta did that a little bit last year with Stroman and … Seiya Suzuki as well, those were two pretty significant investments. But this is the offseason now where they’ve got to start spending again.

“They’ve got to get – and I believe they will get – one of the big shortstops. And they need to do some work around the edges, for sure. They’ve got some promising things happening.”

Andrelton Simmons was initially slated to be the Cubs’ everyday shortstop for this season after signing with the team on a one-year deal in the offseason, but Nico Hoerner has since taken over the role. Hoerner leads the Cubs in starts at the position with 90, and he has posted career highs across the board, including in OPS+ (112).

If the Cubs end up signing one of the soon-to-be prized, available shortstops in free agency, it may not suggest that president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer will then be open to trading Hoerner. The fourth-year infielder does also boast experience in patrolling second base and third base.

The Cubs currently sit in third place in the NL Central standings with a 45-65 record.