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World Series Finalist Among Teams Interested in Cubs Free Agent

Jeimer Candelario is getting significant interest from several teams in the early days of free agency.

The Toronto Blue Jays are not the only team that appears to have interest in pursuing Chicago Cubs free-agent third baseman Jeimer Candelario in free agency.

A day after SportsNet in Canada reported that the Blue Jays had met with Candelario’s agents at the MLB general managers’ meetings in Scottdale, Ariz., three more teams have emerged as potential landing spots per the New York Post.

The Los Angeles Angels, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Cincinnati Reds are all reportedly interested.

This is good news for Candelario, who is coming off one of his best offensive seasons at a time in which he hopes to land a multi-year guaranteed contract.

The Angels have a veteran third baseman in Anthony Rendon, but his 2023 was injury-marred and he is owed $114 million the next three seasons. The Angels have a bit of space at first base, and Candelario has experience on both corners.

The Diamondbacks are coming off their World Series run and their third baseman, Evan Longoria, is a free agent. That’s a straightforward landing spot for Candelario, who is an above-average fielder at third base.

The Reds appear to have an open spot at first base after they turned down Joey Votto’s contract option for 2024. But the Reds also have a logjam of corner infield options, which include Spencer Steer, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Elly De La Cruz and Noelvi Marte.

Candelario offers any team that signs him a switch-hitter that is coming off a season in which he slashed .251/.336/.471 (119 OPS+) with 39 doubles, 22 home runs and 70 RBIs.

He is cheap power. He’s hit between 13 and 22 home runs five times since the 2018 season. As long as he’s healthy and in the lineup, he can be counted upon.