The MLB offseason is buzzing with trade and free agency speculations, and the Chicago Cubs are making moves to fortify their lineup under new manager Craig Counsell.
At the center of the MLB free agency frenzy is Shohei Ohtani, a two-time MVP whose potential signing could reshape a team. The Cubs are reportedly eyeing Ohtani, and this pursuit might impact their other offseason plans.
One intriguing option on the Cubs’ radar is a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays involving shortstop Bo Bichette. The Blue Jays are open to trade discussions and are still holding out hope of signing Ohtani themselves. Moving Bichette would provide financial flexibility, although he’s set to become a free agent after the 2025 season.
Trading Bichette could also raise concerns for Ohtani, who might view it as the Blue Jays moving one of their star players during their competitive window. While it’s possible to acquire Ohtani and retain Bichette, extending the shortstop’s contract with Ohtani on board could pose challenges. Additionally, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is also poised to hit free agency in 2025.
However, there’s a scenario where the Cubs trading for Bo Bichette before pursuing Shohei Ohtani could work in their favor. Ohtani might see it as a strong indication of their commitment to building a winning team, enticing him to join Chicago for a significant part of his career.
If the Cubs secure Bichette, they plan to utilize him at third base. This would create a formidable left side of the infield, with Bo Bichette and Dansby Swanson, both multi-time All-Stars.
Stacking star players could position the Cubs to offer Ohtani a winning environment. Similar strategies have led teams like the Rangers to championships, and Chicago, on the cusp of contender status, might adopt a similar approach. Adding the planet’s best player, Shohei Ohtani, to the mix could be a game-changer.
With a highly paid manager like Craig Counsell, the Cubs appear to be in “win-now” mode. They narrowly missed the playoffs last season and are eager to make the necessary moves to secure a championship. While the idea of Bo Bichette on the Cubs is exciting, it hinges on the Blue Jays’ willingness to trade and Bichette’s contract extension, factors that could influence the Cubs’ decisions this offseason.