Chicago Cubs: Adding Nick Senzel would make this team a contender

Nick Senzel (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Nick Senzel (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Trading for Nick Senzel could be the move that puts the Cubs over the top.

For some time, the Cubs have battled speculation as to who will be the long-term answer at second base. But that’s not the team’s most glaring positional question: that falls to center field, where Albert Almora and Ian Happ have both seen their share of struggles of late.

Chicago could look outside the organization in hopes of shoring up the outfield. For me, one logical trade target who offers tremendous upside and could be an under-the-radar addition is Nick Senzel of the Cincinnati Reds.

Sure, why would the Reds give up a highly touted youngster (#2 overall pick in 2016) to a division rival? Putting that aside, the fit is perfect. The Reds acquired Mike Moustakas, Shogo Akiyama and Nicholas Castellanos this offseason, ultimately leaving Senzel without a guaranteed spot in the starting lineup when you consider all the pieces to the puzzle.

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The 24-year-old Senzel plays center field and second base, two areas of need for the club. He made his debut in 2019 with the Reds and batted a respectable .256 with an OPS of .742 in 104 games, while also racking up 14 stolen bases. The potential is there but it may be tough for him to break through with a crowded depth chart  in Cincinnati.

The Cubs already signed Jason Kipnis and he appears to be in line to play second base along with Daniel Descalso, David Bote and potentially Nico Hoerner. Unfortunately besides Hoerner, none of those names are what the Cubs need to get to the next level.

Having a piece like Senzel to plug into second and even give time out in center to alleviate some of the pressure Happ and Almora will be facing would be huge for the flexibility of this team. With the ceiling Senzel has, first-year manager David Ross would be able to put a scary lineup on the field.

I believe Senzel is what Chicago needs to become a definite contender. Right now there is too much speculation around this team to really know for sure what performance will look like and it seems one addition like this could help pump more optimism into people around this group.

Not only does Senzel help fill a need at second and in the outfield, he has the numbers to be the leadoff hitter this team has been desperately searching for. He can hit for average, steal bases and provide stability to this lineup.

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It may be a long shot, but if the Theo Epstein could sneakily add one player to help turn them into legitimate contenders, it would be Senzel. Wishful thinking no doubt but he has the tools the Cubs have been long looking for.