Chicago Cubs players have some asks in their letter to Santa

(Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: What the outfield wants from Santa

In order to get the Cubs outfield wish list right for Santa, we first need to figure out who exactly is left in the Cubs outfield. Last season’s outfield consisted of Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora Jr., Jason Heyward, Nicholas Castellanos and Ian Happ with occasional appearances from Tony Kemp, Robel Garcia and Kris Bryant.

Just this week, the New York Yankees were expressing interest in Kyle Schwarber and we know Nicholas Castellanos is not an automatic return to the club either. Almora’s poor performance last season has made many speculate that he would be part of a trade package soon, however, the Cubs took a chance with the 26-year-old outfielder and tendered him as contract last month (early Christmas present).

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Ian Happ was sent to Triple-A Iowa last season but did finish the season as one of the strongest bats on the club. Just a few weeks ago Happ slammed a fan who commented on Twitter he should get back into the batting cage and work. Happ basically told the troller to stick to what he knows. Epstein looks to use a Happ and Almora combination for the outfield.

So who’s left in the outfield to receive a present from Santa?

Just to be safe and to keep from confusing Santa this holiday, let’s focus on what Jason Heyward wants for the Cubs outfield next season.

Heyward will first ask Santa to help with his own performance. Heyward is too expensive to trade and keeping him on the field has seemed a liability for the Cubs who were quick to limit Heyward’s field time when Castellanos came on board and Heyward’s inconsistent turns at the plate were trending downward. Since Heyward is taking up 13 percent of the Cub’s payroll, obviously there is a lot of goodness in getting past this payroll anchor.

One gift Santa could bring Heyward and the Cubs outfield is 32-year old Japanese outfielder, Shogo Akiyama. The Cubs have been courting the outfielder who seems the perfect fit for the club with his .376 OBP but is seeking $5 million per season for the next two seasons. Akiyama would not only fill in the centerfield position but allow Heyward to move back to right field. He would also provide the Cubs a valuable leadoff hitter to add to the roster.

All of this sounds good to Heyward who may be leaving some Cubs cookies out this Christmas to grease the skids.