The perfect fit
I’ve talked about this idea recently too, but it also bears repeating. If the Cubs are willing to consider trading Kyle Hendricks, the Blue Jays need to make a very strong offer. If there’s a package that also includes Kris Bryant then that’s also intriguing, but the major target is Hendricks.
The 31-year-old would provide ace-level value to the rotation, and his approach should allow him to continue to thrive into his 30’s. Like Ryu, he’s more of a finesse pitcher, but he’s found a way to consistently pitch at a top-10 level in the National League. He’s also under contract for an affordable rate through 2023 with a vesting option for 2024. He’ll make just 42 million over those three years, and another 16 million on the no-brainer option, assuming he’s still healthy and productive by then.
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That kind of premium production at a bargain rate isn’t going to come cheap, and there’s a good argument that the Cubs should keep him around as they look to re-tool. That said, the Blue Jays have the trade pieces to make a deal happen, and they could change the Cubs’ minds if they want to. Whether that means they make Lourdes Gurriel Jr. available, and/or possibly dangle prospects like Jordan Grohans, Simeon Woods Richardson, or catchers Alejandro Kirk or Gabriel Moreno, they have options. The idea of trading a catching prospect also makes sense as the Cubs are reportedly considering also trading their own All-Star backstop in Willson Contreras.
The point is, there’s a fit to be had here as long as the trade return makes sense for the Blue Jays. The Cubs might want the farm and then some for their ace, but as long as there aren’t any deal-breaker names in the mix, it’s probably worth considering. Hendricks has the type of profile that feels like it’s a good gamble to bet on, and comes with about as good of a resume as you could ask for.
While we’re getting closer to the start of spring training, I think it’s safe to say that the Blue Jays aren’t quite done with their offseason shopping. There are a lot of ways they could go to cross off the final tasks of their offseason checklist, and after landing George Springer this week, I can’t wait to see what happens next.