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Cubs free agent target: Chris Taylor

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The versatile Dodger could be really useful as a Cub.

Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

Okay, so you guys didn’t really like my Freddie Freeman article much. Truth be told, the Cubs aren’t likely to make Freeman a target and neither, probably, is any other team besides the Braves. Freeman has been the face of their franchise for years and it’d be a real upset if he doesn’t return to Atlanta.

So let’s talk about Chris Taylor, who has been a fairly important part of the Dodgers’ success over the last six seasons and who is now a free agent.

During the 2021 regular season, Taylor started games at six positions:

Center field: 48
Second base: 33
Shortstop: 19
Left field: 16
Third base: 9
Right field: 6

Not only that, he’s pretty good at all those positions, and he’s been doing that for the Dodgers for the last five seasons.

So, Ben Zobrist with more power?

Possibly. Signing Taylor would give the Cubs a player they could move around and mix-and-match with, say, Nico Hoerner, if they don’t want to make Hoerner the fulltime shortstop. Taylor is a perfectly good MLB shortstop. Or he could play center field, or give Patrick Wisdom a break at third base from time to time.

What’s not to like? Taylor hit .254/.344/.438 with 20 home runs in 148 games in 2021 and if the Dodgers had won the NLCS he probably would have been the MVP of that series, as he went 10-for-21 (.476) with three home runs in the six games.

Taylor turned 31 in August. He made $7.8 million in 2021, and he’s basically been a 3.0 bWAR player since he became a full-time regular in 2017.

I mentioned Ben Zobrist earlier. When Zobrist came to the Cubs in 2016 he was four years older than Taylor is now, but they are quite comparable players.

Thus the Cubs could make Taylor a Zobrist offer: Four years, $56 million. That would seem about right for a player with Taylor’s abilities. Given his age maybe you throw in a fifth-year option at $15 million with a $4 million buyout, which would make the AAV for luxury tax purposes $12 million.

Who says no?

Poll

Chris Taylor...

This poll is closed

  • 70%
    ... the Cubs should sign him to a deal like the one in the article
    (446 votes)
  • 13%
    ... not enough, it’ll take more years and/or money
    (85 votes)
  • 14%
    ... too much. Pass
    (92 votes)
  • 2%
    Something else (leave in comments)
    (13 votes)
636 votes total Vote Now