MLB rumors: Jordan Montgomery destination heating up, Cubs add 1B competition, Angels Ohtani replacement

  • The Angels are zeroing in on pitching replacements
  • Cubs add a veteran to their youthful 1B competition
  • Jordan Montgomery's destination appears to be coming clearer

World Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Texas Rangers - Game Two
World Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Texas Rangers - Game Two / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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Cubs bring in a veteran at first base

With the Chicago Cubs having signed Cody Bellinger early Sunday morning to a three-year deal (that really will probably wind up being one or two years, since Bellinger has player options at the end of the first and second year) they finally have opened the books on their offseason.

Better late than never, right?

With Bellinger solving the center field question, the biggest one remaining for the Cubs as Spring Training moves on is what will happen with first base. Truth be told, Bellinger might be able to help solve the equation there too, considering he has played the position and filled in there at times last season for Chicago. But the optimal solution is to find a proper regular manning the corner.

The Cubs just signed Garrett Cooper to add to the list of options according to Jon Heyman of the NY Post. Before then, the Cubs had Matt Mervis and Michael Busch battling for the spot, who combine for less than a year of total MLB service time. Not to say one of them can't emerge and be a winner in the role, but the inexperience in the Cubs' options at first projects to be a possible concern.

The other issue is Christopher Morel, who got some work at first base in winter ball, but he, too, would be an unnatural fit at best to start at first.

Cooper, who reportedly was between the Cubs and Red Sox, played for the Marlins and Padres last year, batting a mild .251/.304/.419. Defensively, he was positive in terms of outs above average according to Statcast, ranking fifth among all first-baseman in 2023. He might be a low-key good late signing at first.

Based on the quickness at the Bellinger and Cooper moves, it does seem like Chicago's reluctance to make deals happen this season had some to do with not knowing how much they might need to set aside to sign Bellinger. Now that that's out of the way, it seems like the Cubs can get their other moves taken care of.