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Levine: Cubs Still Eyeing More Moves After Signing Jason Heyward

By Bruce Levine--

(CBS) The moves just keep on coming for the Cubs as they build a juggernaut on the north side of Chicago.

Following the addition of outfielder Jason Heyward on a reported eight-year, $184-million deal on Friday, the team's still in a position to add contract-controllable players who aren't quite as pricey. The Cubs' payroll is around $150 million now, roughly $30 million more than they spent in 2015.

The next piece of business for the aggressive front office is to pursue a starting pitcher, a bullpen beast and a center fielder. All three can be accomplished with a little creativity and a few bucks more out of the coffers. The Tampa Rays are still a likely trading partner for the Cubs.

The economically stalled Rays must continue to dump salary of good players, in order to stay within a payroll budget of $70 million. What all of that means for the Cubs and other possible trading partners is that relief pitchers like Jake McGee and rotation reclamation projects such as left-handed pitcher Matt Moore will be getting peddled this offseason.

The contracts of both McGee and Moore could be handled with some creative moves between Tampa and would-be customers. Now a year-and-a-half removed from elbow surgery, Moore made 12 starts for Tampa last season. He was an All-Star with dominant stuff before his 2014 surgery.

Moore has four years remaining on his contract that can realize $31 million. The beauty of the deal is that there are buyout options every year for the team possessing his contract. So, as an example, if the Cubs pay the $5 million owed in 2016, they can either pick up the $7 million option for 2017 or pay the buyout of $2.5 million and move on.

The McGee contract status is much less complicated. He will get around $5 million in arbitration this season. The team will have contract control through 2017.

These two moves would be easier for the Cubs to handle, despite being near or at their payroll threshold right now. The price in return of a player like Jorge Soler would soften the payroll hit. Soler will earn $3.66 million in 2016, in the midst of a nine-year, $30-million contract.

This isn't to say the Cubs could get both Moore and McGee for Soler alone. Other prospects thrown in a deal could solidify a more equitable trade. The two teams had a lot of contact over the past 10 days.

Meanwhile, adding a center fielder is still a part of the equation for Chicago. As it stands today, the Gold Glove-winning Heyward would be the Opening Day center fielder. Adding a good young player like Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte or Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna via trade would make the Cubs' outfield defense Gold Glove caliber at two positions. With both Soler and Kyle Schwarber possessing limited range, another move would be preferential. Both Ozuna and Inciarte are under contract control for at least four seasons.

With the additions of Heyward, Ben Zobrist and John Lackey, the Cubs are certainly winners of the offseason trade and free-agent markets, but they aren't finished adding to this evolving team just yet.

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.

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