Cubs Tabbed as Potential Trade Spot for Disgruntled Giants Starter

JD Davis, a potential Cubs trade target at third base

Getty JD Davis, a potential Cubs trade target at third base

Giants third baseman J.D. Davis is coming off what might have been the best year of his career in 2023, only to find that San Francisco has gone out and added an 11th-hour replacement for him, as the team signed Gold Glove slugger Matt Chapman this week to an option-heavy, three-year, $54 million contract similar to the one Cody Bellinger got from the Cubs. And speaking of the North Siders—would a Cubs trade for Davis not make sense, assuming the Giants move him?

The Cubs could use a consistent glove at third base, which is a potential defensive hole for the team, without giving up offense. That’s the dilemma heading into the year, and though Davis is not a great third baseman, he started 112 games there last year and is a consistent veteran who also happened to hit 18 home runs with 69 RBIs and a .248 batting average.

Not bad for a likely No. 8 hitter. And Davis has made clear he is not happy with how the Chapman move went down, telling the San Francisco Chronicle he did not get any communication from the team about it and, “It’s part of the business. I know every management is different in how they handle things and that’s just one of the characteristics you just have to live with.”

When it comes to teams that could, potentially, land Davis in a trade, Nick Deeds of MLB Rumors has the Cubs among three logical destinations.

Cubs Trade for J.D. Davis Would Bring Upside

Here’s how Deeds put it this week:

“The veteran infielder hit a roughly league average .248/.325/.413 in 144 games with the Giants last year, but had established himself as a well-above average bat in the four years prior to the 2023 campaign, slashing .276/.363/.457 with a 127 wRC+ during that time. That upside could make Davis an attractive target for a team lacking in certainty at the infield corners, such as the Cubs, Mariners, or Brewers.”

Now, one of the big questions around the Cubs here during Spring Training is whether 24-year-old third-year utility man Christopher Morel can make himself an everyday third baseman. He has played six positions in two seasons with the Cubs—everywhere but first base and catcher—and has only logged 15 appearances at third base.

The Cubs have been exuding confidence in Morel as a third baseman, and certainly they want the 26 home runs he hit last year in the lineup every day, but it’s entirely possible they’re trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Still, third base is the hole the Cubs have open, so they’re trying to make it work with Morel.

Christopher Morel’s Defensive Future in the Spotlight

The Cubs could go with light-hitting Nick Madrigal if they want a defensive focus at third base. But they want Morel to have some consistency in where he plays so he can keep building up his offense.

As manager Craig Counsell said last month, via, “At this point, with players around Chris, we’ve asked him to move around. So, I think my idea at the start of camp is to kind of focus mainly on third base.

“Let’s see where we’re at. Let’s evaluate that as we go. But, let’s give him a chance at third base, and give him some consistency at third base – see where we’re at roster-wise at some point in camp and then go forward from there.”

But a trade for Davis would be a safer option, giving the Cubs a better-known commodity with both bat and glove. That would leave Morel to go back to getting most of his at-bats as a DH, though, which the Cubs do not necessarily want, either.

Dealing for Davis is unlikely, but if the Cubs still have doubts about Morel in a couple of weeks, it would be worth circling back on.

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