The Chicago Cubs may not be done putting the team together just yet. If rumors are true, the team may have an interest in outfielder Denard Span. What comes after that seems to be a bit trickier.
The decision to sign Span has benefits but could cost the team at the same time.
First, let’s look at the team as it is without Denard Span on the roster. Newly signed Jason Heyward presumably means he will man center field come opening day.
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Kyle Schwarber and Jorge Soler look to be set in left and right field spots unless a move is made. Schwarber is by far the weakest link in the trio but his ability at the plate will force the Cubs to find him a spot in order to be in the lineup.
During interleague play, the Cubs can mask that weakness by shifting Schwarber to DH and getting some help defensively.
Heyward provides an upgrade in center from a year ago. If the Cubs lineup wasn’t already ripe with power hitters, the lack of power would be more concerning. Heyward is a right fielder by trade but we shouldn’t see a drop-off defensively given how the outfield plays at Wrigley Field.
If the Cubs do bring Denard Span in, something has to give among the other players involved. With the addition of Span, Heyward would have to shift to one of the corner outfield spots. It’s safe to assume that Schwarber isn’t going anywhere.
He is a power left-handed bat who can provide Joe Maddon options at multiple positions. By comparison, Soler will give you the same power but isn’t as versatile defensively.
Adding Span means Soler has to go. This wouldn’t be the first time that Soler has been linked to the rumor mill this offseason. Luckily for the Chicago Cubs, they have stockpiled an arsenal of young talent that can be used in trades.
The best thing the Cubs can do would be to use Soler as a trade chip to help solidify another area of need.
Adding young, strong arms to the rotation is always a priority and the Cubs can go a long way in finding another by trading for it.
With spring training just around the corner and a team that is already considered the best in the big leagues, things might change before too long. The only question now, Who will be in Mesa when it all begins?