The Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies look like long shots to make serious noise this season after getting off to sluggish starts. The Phillies already parted ways with Joe Girardi not even a third of the way into the season, and it seems as if the team is setting its sights on the offseason. The latest MLB rumors indicate that both Philadelphia and Chicago are expected to be major players in what is anticipated to be a star-filled shortstop market this winter.
This coming offseason could see a slew of star shortstops hit the open market, including the likes of Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts, and Trea Turner. The Phillies and Cubs are both expected to be players in the markets of all three impending free agents, according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY.
Chicago has a clear need at shortstop after trading Javy Baez to the New York Mets at the trade deadline last season. With Nico Hoerner likely more comfortable at second base, the Cubs could follow up a rather aggressive offseason in 2022 with another free-spending winter.
Correa and Bogaerts are expected to exercise the opt-out clause in their contracts with the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox, respectively. Turner, who stars for the Los Angeles Dodgers, is expected to hit free agency when his current deal expires at the end of this season.
The Phillies have Didi Gregorius at shortstop, but they will likely move on from the 32-year-old at the end of this season when his current deal runs out. That would open up a significant amount of money for the team (he’s making $14.5 million this season), while also enabling them to pursue a big-name shortstop to add to their already-potent lineup.
Both the Phillies and Cubs are expected to be major players in the MLB offseason, and with some big-name shortstops set to hit the open market, expect these teams to be at the forefront of the conversation in free agency.