Chicago Cubs players have some asks in their letter to Santa
By Jim Guzior
The holiday season has begun and Christmas is right around the corner. What will Santa bring the Chicago Cubs infield, outfield and pitchers this holiday?
This season we’ve looked at the Santa wish lists from Chicago Cubs new manager David Ross and President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein. Don’t think all those Santa wishes are reserved for the top guys; our Cubs players have some things on their lists too! Let’s take a sneak peek at few to see what our infield, outfield and pitchers want from Santa this holiday season.
Chicago Cubs: What the infield wants from Santa
The number one thing on the entire infield’s wish list for Old Saint Nick is just some good ole’ stability. Right now, third baseman Kris Bryant is a question mark for next year’s roster due to an ongoing grievance filed by the players union and MLB on his behalf against the Chicago Cubs.
Bryant’s grievance stems from his dispute with the Cubs over service-time manipulation. He’s got a child on the way, a dispute with his current club and could be either sidelined, traded or arbitrated before spring training. I have to imagine Bryant would certainly welcome some stability.
Shortstop Addison Russell was non-tendered and is now a free agent leaving a gap that was filled last season by rookie Nico Hoerner. The Cubs are keeping quiet on what they plan to do with Hoerner and are adamant that they will put his continued progression ahead of all else.
Hoerner would probably like to know what his future’s going to look like but all anyone is talking about is what the Cubs want. The rookie is probably keeping his mouth shut, happy to have had as much Show-time as he did last season and knowing the best way to get back there is to keep his mouth closed. Don’t worry, though – Santa’s listening, Nico.
Second baseman Javier Baez was in the news earlier this month, representing Cubs Charities by cutting the ribbon to 25 baseball fields that were restored in Puerto Rico after being devastated by Hurricanes Maria and Irma. Doesn’t sound like the type of ambassador that isn’t coming back to the team, does it? Baez probably has the least to worry about stability but certainly would like to know who’s going to be working the double play with him next season?
First baseman Anthony Rizzo is another stalwart that doesn’t have any worries about stability for next season although Rizzo recently hinted he would like an extended contract so he could remain a Cub until he retires.
The Cubs are in no rush to tie up their money when they control Rizzo for the next two years. If the slugging first baseman can remain healthy throughout next season and put up even better numbers, the Cubs will have to offer him a five-year $130 million Goldschmidt-deal. If they don’t, Rizzo should take his show on the road the following season, he’s worth the money. He would probably take a five-year, $100 million deal now, if Santa could swing it.
It is essential for the Chicago Cubs to fill those holes at shortstop and third base with comfortable players that will work well with the core group. There is anxiety all over Chicago and likely in the clubhouse as to who will be tapped to fill those important spots on the field and in the roster.
Those in the infield that are not asking Santa for stability this holiday season, would like to see Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras have some more confidence as to what his role is. He is another name that has been thrown around the offseason as a way for the Cubs to pay some bills. Contreras has said he wants be back in a Cub uniform next season and Santa is listening.