Shota Imanaga rewarded Cubs' patience with complete free agency steal

While the exact terms of Shota Imanaga's deal with the Cubs are not known, Jon Heyman reports that they managed to get him at a good price. In fact, it could turn out to be quite a steal.

World Baseball Classic Championship: United States v Japan
World Baseball Classic Championship: United States v Japan / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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The Chicago Cubs made their first big splash of the winter on Tuesday night when they signed Japanese left-hander Shota Imanaga to bolster their rotation.

While the exact terms of the deal are tough to decipher, Jon Heyman of MLB Network, who broke the news of the deal reported that the Cubs managed to get him at a good price. In fact, it could turn out to be quite a steal.

This morning on 670 The Score, a local Chicago sports podcast, Heyman revealed that another team had an offer more than double of what the Cubs offered the star left-hander.

If this is true, then the Cubs have essentially pulled off quite a steal to land Imanaga. Heyman noted that it is very likely Imanaga wanted to be a part of the Cubs organization.

MLB Rumors: Chicago Cubs pulled off a steal in Shota Imanaga

With Imanaga in the starting rotation, the Cubs now have a solid one-two punch consisting of him and left-hander Justin Steele. This is the first major move the Cubs have made thus far. They finished 83-79 last season, falling just short of the final Wild Card spot in the National League.

However, the NL Central is not one of the better divisions in baseball at the moment, especially with the Milwaukee Brewers set to potentially take a step back. The Cubs could bounce right back into the thick of the race.

Signing Imanaga could be the first step for the Cubs as they try to build off of 2023. Perhaps they have more moves planned. They have been linked to former Philadelphia Phillies slugger Rhys Hoskins. Cody Bellinger also remains unsigned as of now.

If they managed to get the left-hander at a good price, then they'll surely have some more flexibility with their payroll as they look to improve other areas of the roster.

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