MLB Roundup: Are the Cubs preparing for the pursuit of a superstar?

Is Japanese superstar Shohei Otani on the Cubs' radar? Kyodo News/AP Images

At a time when players with great platoon splits -- one way or the other, versus left-handers or right-handers -- have increased value, the Cubs signed Jon Jay, a hitter who was good against lefties (.308 average) and righties (.282) last year.

Jay’s one-year, $8 million deal is low risk, and what the former Cardinal and Padre might provide above all else is positional flexibility, which will be important as the Cubs adjust for the use of Kyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward, Albert Almora Jr., Jorge Soler and others.

The Cubs could have gone after one of the pricier bats in the market, but there is already heavy expectation that Chicago is holding its dollars for something bigger -- the cost of restocking the pitching, for example, and perhaps a potential run at the multitalented Shohei Otani, the MVP of Japan’s Pacific League. A star pitcher and designated hitter, Otani will be the most sought-after player next winter, and rival executives believe the Cubs will be all-in on that pursuit when the contracts of Jake Arrieta and John Lackey are set to expire.