Chicago Cubs: The team could keep its young outfield intact

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: They should be attractive, right?

Schwarber’s power has been on full display since he arrived in the Show in 2015, but he seems to be growing more disciplined as a hitter, amassing his highest walk total as a pro last year. And even if teams were wondering if his defensive improvements in 2018 were an aberration, he still possesses value as a potential designated hitter for an American League club.

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Everything about Ian Happ makes him a commodity. A switch-hitting bat with power and speed that can play multiple positions in the infield and outfield. Like Schwarber, Happ significantly increased his walk rate, nearly doubling his total of 39 in 2017 by drawing 70 free passes last season in just 49 more plate appearances. As a high-OBP, utility-type with a big bat, he seems like a particularly attractive piece.

Then there’s Almora, who year after year seems to show why he will be a future Gold Glover in center field. His first step and range are tremendous despite not being the fastest outfielder, and he has a strong throwing arm. Almora was on pace to hit .300 last season before a lack of consistent playing time derailed his hopes. Still, he finished the season with a .286 clip after hitting .298 in 2017 and he crushes left-handed pitching.

Yet even though each of these three could instantly help any team, the Cubs may have soured their value in the hopes of retaining roster depth and versatility.