Chicago Cubs: Bold predictions for the upcoming offseason

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Dexter Fowler won’t return to the Cubs

Despite a solid season from Dexter Fowler in center field in 2015, there are a number of factors that lead to the conclusion that Fowler won’t be wearing Cubbie blue when camps open in February.

First of all, he will be a highly sought-after commodity due to the combination of a great season, being a strong leadoff hitter and the lack of quality options in center field on the market.

Second, and more importantly, the Cubs will need a defensive upgrade in center field next season. If the Cubs are to move forward with young studs Kyle Schwarber and Jorge Soler in the corner outfield positions in order to put the best offensive team possible on the field, Fowler will be insufficient in roaming center field.

While Fowler is above average at the plate, he is a defensive liability. Combine his outfield skills with the far below average fielding of both Schwarber and Soler and the Cubs would likely have the worst defensive outfield in baseball.

With that in mind, expect the Cubs to turn to the trade market for a solution just like they did in acquiring Fowler before last season. The free agent market options for center field are slim but Rajai Davis is a name to keep an eye on if the Cubs can’t find another option. Davis is still speedy at age 35 and has excellent range in center.

He would be relatively inexpensive and fill a need while waiting for the next Cubs young gun, Albert Almora, who has been projected to be a future Gold Glove-caliber center fielder.

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