The Opener: Giants, Cubs, MLBTR Chat

As the offseason continues to chug along, here are three things to keep an eye on today:

1. With Correa on board, what’s next for San Francisco?

The Giants have agreed to terms with star shortstop Carlos Correa on a 13-year, $350MM contract, which will install Correa as the face of the Giants franchise through his 40th birthday. Correa adds immediate impact to a team that desperately needs it following the retirement of Buster Posey last year. With that being said, the Giants will need to do more if they want to return to the postseason in 2023. While the Giants are adding a likely 5-win player in Correa, they also appear unlikely to re-sign Carlos Rodon at this point, who produced 6.2 fWAR for them last season. The additions of Sean Manaea and Ross Stripling should help offset that loss, and Mitch Haniger should bolster their outfield production. Still, there’s plenty left for San Francisco to do this offseason if they want to compete with the Dodgers and Padres in the NL West. While an outfield unit of Haniger, Mike Yastrzemski, Austin Slater and LaMonte Wade Jr. (more likely designated hitter Joc Pederson) is solid, the Giants are nonetheless reportedly looking to add another outfielder. The free agent market for outfielders has begun to thin out, but there are still some interesting players available, including Michael Brantley, Michael Conforto, Joey Gallo and Jurickson Profar. Additionally, the trade market has plenty of options, with the likes of Bryan Reynolds, Max Keplerand Daulton Varsho drawing interest so far this offseason. Aside from the outfield, San Francisco is known to be interested in a late-inning bullpen arm to pair with incumbent closer Camilo Doval. While the Giants came up short in their pursuit of Kenley Jansenother options remain on the market, such as Adam Ottavino, Andrew Chafinand Taylor Rogerstwin brother of Giants reliever Tyler Rogers.

2. Do the Cubs have more moves on the horizon?

Entering the offseason, there were high expectations for the Cubs, who performed surprisingly well in the second half of 2022 and were frequently speculated upon as a landing spot for a star shortstop. Flash forward to today, though, and the offseason hasn’t gone as many fans would have hoped. correa, Trea Turnerand Xander Bogaerts are all off the market along with potential fits at other positions, such as Christian Vazquez, Sean Murphyand Kodai-Senga. This offseason hasn’t been entirely quiet, as the club has added both outfielder Cody Bellinger and starter Jameson Taillon. While both are sensible additions to a roster with plenty of holes, it’s an open question whether these moves can even make up for the production lost by franchise catcher Willson Contreras moving on to sign with the division-rival Cardinals, much less set the Cubs up to attempt to return to the postseason. Dansby Swanson is still on the market, and the Cubs do appear to be a legitimate candidate to sign him, but he should have multiple suitors, including the Twins, who recently lost Correa. Owner Tom Ricketts pledged in August to be “very active in free agency” this offseason — comments that generally echoed his Oct. 2021 statement to fans, wherein he declared: “We commit to fielding a competitive team reflective of your unrivaled support.” If Taillon ends up as the Cubs’ most notable addition, that doesn’t necessarily line up with the expectations created by Ricketts himself in those public-facing comments.

3. MLBTR Chat Today

Yesterday, MLBTR’s Anthony Franco fielded questions during a live chat (transcript here). If there’s still unanswered questions about this offseason or the direction of your favorite team burning in your mind, you’re in luck, as MLBTR’s Steve Adams will be hosting another chat today at 1pm CT. You can submit a question in advance, and you can use the same link to check back in this afternoon and participate live once the chat begins.

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