Whittenmaier: The Places Deal The Cubs and White Sox Can’t Reject

Whittenmaier: The Places Deal The Cubs and White Sox Can’t Reject

Wittenmyer: Cubs Places Trading Deal, Sox Can’t Refuse originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

LAS VEGAS – After questions permeated the other day at GM meetings about several Cubs and ex-Cubs who might make good off-season goals for his club, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn seemed almost baffled as the questions subsided.

“Do you want to talk about Cease and Eloy’s trade?”

so funny.


No, we have better trade than that—than places trade really—that would be the highlight of a Chicago baseball winter for a pair of flawed and frustrated teams if the teams had the dough and stones to do it.

Think of it as Anthony Rizzo by Jose Abreu.

Rizzo, the former face of the Cubs, has just opted to withdraw from his contract with the Yankees to become a free agent – perhaps the best left-handed player on the market.

“I support a left-handed slug,” said Han, who would flip his lineup to his right side if it was a car full of clowns.

Pro Rizzo? That’s not what Han would say, but stuck with that idea.

The flip side of swapping the ex-Cub/ex-Sox for base one is not only a clearly plausible occasion, but sources say the Cubs are planning to explore a potential short-term deal for the 36-year-old 2020 MVP in January – but not so. With the stinging sense of urgency and priority suggested by some reports.

“Certainly in all types of deals, we will be looking to find the strength to complement our lineup,” said Hoyer.

The preference is left or right?

“We would like to have more left-handedness, but the strength of this market is probably more right-handed,” Hoyer said.

Like Abreu?

“I won’t comment on any player individually,” Hoyer said with a smile.

Not on it. Need and relevance say enough to make it intriguing even without knowing the well-respected veteran and the club’s existence in fact in their eyes.

Cubs manager David Ross spoke more than once in the final weeks of the season about the Cubs’ “big hole” at first base.

And even with all of Matt Murvis’ baffling success during his 2022 break that included the Arizona Fall League MVP award at the weekend, the Cubs aren’t planning to give him a full-time major league. Action based season started with a high ball.

“Sure, it’s a big part of our future. Hoyer said of Murvis’ potential role next season – which could include a job sharing if he gets a promotion.

“We’re also still in the bat market.”

What they won’t be in the market for is a long-term commitment to a free agent in the position.

That could lead to a two-year deal for Abreu (two plus an option?) The kind of win-win signing that makes the club stronger and adds a man with five seasons of 30 years to a squad that could use at least an old version of those attributes.

Whether the Sox can respond to such a signature with the movement of their trading places may prove to be a much more difficult needle to thread.

For one thing, Hahn said he expects to do most of his significant additions this year via trade rather than free agency.

He also has an obvious heir to the initially departed Abreu in youngster Andrew Vaughn, who spent most of his time as an unfamiliar defensive player in his first two seasons in the majors with Abreu taking up the bulk of his starting playing time.

“Von is the first policeman. That’s how he was recruited,” Han said. “That doesn’t mean he’ll be our first baseman next year, not necessarily.”

Perhaps especially because of how much Han likes the left jacket?

He said, “I support that.”

(Although it wasn’t enough to sign Kyle Schwarber a year ago after refusing to talk about this former cub at those GM meetings.)

Could Rizzo’s signature fit this time?

“I’m still not talking about any cubs,” Han said.

well good.

Unless Han was serious and willing to act aggressively, it might not matter anyway.

Because when it comes to Rizzo, “He’s someone we like to keep,” Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said.

Which may be the last word on Han’s chances of bringing Rizzo back to Chicago.

“Any other cubs questions I can answer for you,” Han said.

Now that I mentioned it, how do you look attractive?

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