Chicago Cubs: Expect plenty of competition for roles this spring

(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: Who will comprise Ross’ bench in year one?

If the Cubs fail to trade one of their stars (or other teams simply refuse to meet the team’s asking prices on Bryant and Contreras), there’s a solid position player mix coming back for 2020.

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Around the diamond, you’re going to have Rizzo returning at first base, Javier Baez at shortstop and Bryant at third. Contreras will handle the lion’s share of the duties behind the dish, backed up by Victor Caratini, who turned some heads with his work last season filling in while Contreras was sidelined with an injury.

In left field, Kyle Schwarber will hope to build on his 38-homer performance from a year ago and five-time Gold Glover Jason Heyward returns in right field. The two big questions are the same as they were in 2019: center field and second base.

In center, it seems pretty likely there’s a competition between Ian Happ and Albert Almora this spring to determine who gets the most at-bats. Don’t be shocked if this becomes a sort of platoon situation, either.

At second, the club’s got a ton of options. David Bote stands out to me the most, personally. I like his upside and his bat brings a lot to the table. But Happ can also play there, not to mention Daniel Descalso, who will hopefully put a disastrous 2019 behind him. Top prospect Nico Hoerner will likely be with the club at some point and Robel Garcia could return and play a role, as well.

Next. Holt makes a ton of sense given the Cubs' makeup. dark

So while there’s been little to talk about outside of rampant trade rumors this offseason, this spring should bring plenty of chatter regarding roles – especially given it’s the first year under David Ross and this club should have a different feel than in recent years.