Chicago Cubs: Three free agents the team should go after this winter

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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Will the team bring some rain to the hot corner?

This is a tough sell, I know. Josh Donaldson reestablished his value in a big way this year with Atlanta, appearing in 155 games and putting up a .901 OPS. He represented the perfect mix of power and patience, drawing 100 walks for the second time in his career while hitting 37 home runs.

Coming off this one-year deal with the Braves, Donaldson will undoubtedly have plenty of suitors this winter. If the cards fall right, the Chicago Cubs could be among those clubs. But, again, a lot would have to happen and major changes would have to take place to get it done.

Right now, the Cubs have franchise cornerstone Kris Bryant holding down the hot corner. After an injury plagued 2018 season, the former NL MVP returned to form this year – until an ankle injury ended his year prematurely. He didn’t drive in as many runs as you’d like to see, but given he hit second most of the year and the leadoff spot was a proverbial black hole, I don’t really blame him for that.

So the Cubs have some decisions here. If they were serious about Donaldson, they’d need to do one of two things with Bryant: trade him or have him move to the outfield full-time.

But there’s a potential problem with this plan. He’s a corner outfielder. So you’re either sliding Jason Heyward over to center and sticking Bryant in right or you’re seriously considering trading Schwarber, who is coming off one of the best offensive seasons of his young career.

Schwarber has made strides defensively, as well – he’s clearly more than a designated hitter at this point – despite what many fans may think. A Donaldson move definitely adds an on-base presence to the mix, but it might raise more questions than provide answers.