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Cubs free agent target: Jeimer Candelario

Should the Cubs bring him back?

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

As you surely know, Jeimer Candelario was signed out of the Dominican Republic by the Cubs’ Jim Hendry regime, came though the Cubs system and played briefly for them in 2016 and 2017 before being traded to the Tigers in the deal that brought Alex Avila and Justin Wilson to Chicago. (The five games he played for the 2016 Cubs got him a World Series ring.)

He had some good years in Detroit but declined in 2022, which allowed the Nationals to sign him for just $5 million for one year. The Cubs then sent Kevin Made and DJ Herz to Washington for Candelario at this year’s trade deadline.

Candelario started out en fuego for the Cubs, with two straight four-hit games and batting .485/.541/.727 (15-for-33) in his first nine games back in blue pinstripes with five doubles and a home run.

Unfortunately, Candelario suffered a back injury in September and missed a couple of weeks when the Cubs really could have used his bat. Overall for the Cubs in 41 games he batted .234/.318/.445 (32-for-137) with nine doubles, a triple and six home runs. The numbers declined late largely, in my view, due to the back issues.

Candelario is a capable, if not spectacular, third baseman and he can also play first base competently. He turns 30 in about two weeks. MLB Trade Rumors says he’ll get a four-year deal for $70 million, which would seem a lot for a player of his talent level.

The Cubs have a top prospect for third base in 2023’s No. 1 pick, Matt Shaw. It would seem likely that Shaw could be ready to play third base in Chicago by late 2025.

So I’d have some interest in bringing back Candelario, but not for longer than two years.

Two years, $30 million. Is that too much for a player of Candelario’s talent level?

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This series on possible Cubs free agent targets will resume on Monday.)


Jeimer Candelario...

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    ... the Cubs should sign him to a contract like the one MLBTR proposed
    (42 votes)
  • 58%
    ... the Cubs should sign him to a two-year deal similar to the one proposed in the article
    (370 votes)
  • 31%
    ... the Cubs should not sign him
    (197 votes)
  • 4%
    Something else (leave in comments)
    (26 votes)
635 votes total Vote Now