Though it’s not quite the same as a definitive report, Jon Heyman’s Tuesday morning tweet sure reads like the harbinger of a Cubs deal with Trey Mancini. For those who aren’t chronically present on the bird app, Heyman is well known as a mouthpiece for agents and is notorious for reporting on the involvement of “mystery teams.” Then there are reports like the one below in which it appears an agent is trying to gain leverage to get a little more out of a team when negotiations are getting close.
Mentioning the Cubs specifically sure makes it sound like they’ve got an offer out there, maybe the best or only one, and the folks at Frontline want to make it known that “others are in.” That’s not to say additional interested parties don’t exist, of course, because it’s entirely likely the Cubs aren’t the only team that would like to add Mancini. And hey, maybe that tweet serves to spur another club to step up.
Though he’s fallen off from his breakout season in 2019, due in no small part to a winning battle with colon cancer, he’s still an above-average run producer with solid pop. He’s also a right-handed batter who can play first base and is very familiar with the DH role, making him an ideal platoon partner for presumed everyday first baseman Matt Mervis.
Mancini is a great clubhouse presence who was a fan-favorite in Baltimore prior to being traded to Houston to aid in the Astros’ title run. The Cubs have clearly made an effort to add veteran leaders to the club as they seek to rebuild some of what they’ve lost via trade, retirement, and DFA over the last year and a half or so. Just like Dansby Swanson and Jameson Taillon, adding Mancini would not be just about stats.
Nor would adding the former Oriole preclude the Cubs from bringing in other veteran hitters like Michael Conforto, Brandon Drury, Evan Longoria, or Matt Carpenter. Well, Carpenter’s limited defensive ability might mean he’d be crossed off the list if Mancini is indeed nearing a deal. The bigger point is that Jed Hoyer still has work to do when it comes to rounding out the roster.
Speaking of which, the Cubs are going to have to make some other moves here soon because they’ll be over the 40-man limit once some of their recent signings are made official. In addition to a few DFA candidates, they could swing a trade or two to clear room.