Shohei Ohtani

Cubs are one of MLB's ‘most desperate teams' in free agency, insider says

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As baseball’s winter meetings get underway in Nashville, one prominent MLB insider has a blunt assessment of how the Chicago Cubs are approaching things in free agency.

That word: desperation.

In his latest column, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale called the Cubs one of the most “desperate” teams in baseball as they seek to improve their roster after missing out on the playoffs during the 2023 season.

“You don’t fire your beloved manager, steal manager Craig Counsell from your rival, pay him a record salary, shout from the Chicago rooftops that it’s Ohtani or bust, and sit back and tell your fanbase that at least you tried if you don’t land him,” he said.

Nightengale also classified the Yankees and Dodgers, among others, as the teams most desperate to improve during the free agency window.

The Cubs have been linked to countless free agents, including the aforementioned Shohei Ohtani, whose contract is likely holding up a large chunk of the market at this point in free agency.

It isn’t clear whether Ohtani intends to meet with teams at the winter meetings, or if he will sign somewhere before they wrap up on Wednesday, but the Cubs have routinely been linked to the coveted free agent, as have the Dodgers, Blue Jays and Giants.

The Cubs have also been linked via reports to several other names, including San Diego Padres closer Josh Hader, and have also been tied to trade rumors surrounding Tampa Bay Rays ace Tyler Glasnow and Cleveland Guardians star Shane Bieber.

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