Chicago Cubs: Dusting off our overly-optimistic 2019 crystal ball

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Role players will play a huge role

With Harper out of the mix, the Cubs will make a series of down-roster moves to solidify their depth. It will all start with Tommy La Stella finally moving on, as the team won’t offer him arbitration and he will find a new home. This will open up the designated pinch-hitting role to Ben Zobrist, who will finish out his contract in Chicago as a part-time player.

Albert Almora will slide into the full time CF role and will finally be given a chance to play every day unchallenged. Kyle Schwarber and Jason Heyward reprise their roles as the starting left and right fielders, respectively.

Expect the Cubs to grab a speedy bench outfielder on the cheap to fill that role off the bench, and also expect a Daniel Descalso type of veteran to slide in as a utility player off the bench as well. Current utility infielder David Bote may also fill that latter role.