Not many people know exactly what the Chicago Cubs are doing this offseason aside from the constant chatter about the launch of Marquee Network. It's clear they've been focusing a lot more on making money off this television venture than tinkering with the roster to get back to the playoffs.
But there happens to be some activity regarding the front office and player personnel, but it's a bizarre one. Reports surfaced earlier on Thursday suggesting the Cubbies are "absolutely motivated" to trade for Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado.
They already have a franchise third baseman in Kris Bryant -- someone who is also a power hitter and Gold Glove-caliber defender, though he's never officially won the award. Not to mention he's also proved that in a BIG way outside the comfy confines of Coors Field.
So why is there chatter about the Cubs swapping out one franchise third baseman for another, especially considering their incumbent third baseman already checks all the boxes?
It makes no sense. Chicago has two more years of control over Bryant and would essentially have the same control over Arenado, who can opt out of his contract in two years. What's the sense of risking this?
Driving up the price to work on another acquisition? Working with Arenado to have him opt into his contract so the Cubs save money (because Bryant's future deal will likely eclipse $300 million if he continues to produce at this rate)? Swapping Bryant for Arenado solves nothing unless that's able to happen.
The bottom line is that everything the Cubs have been doing is seemingly against logic. They ousted Joe Maddon, who was arguably the best manager in franchise history. They paid Craig Kimbrel and Yu Darvish after clear signs of regression from the two. They continue to neglect the bullpen. They won't take care of Bryant long term.
What's happening in Chicago?