Chicago Cubs: Five designated hitter candidates team could pursue

Nelson Cruz, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Nelson Cruz, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs, Jonathan Schoop (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Jonathan Schoop

Are the Cubs in the market for a second baseman this offseason? Is Nico Hoerner, who is coming off a rough 2020 season, going to be the answer in 2021? Or will the team be looking outside the organization to upgrade the position? Even if the Cubs think Hoerner is the answer to start 2021, Jonathan Schoop could be a backup plan for the position as well as a candidate to DH for the team.

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Schoop, who will be 29 next year, is one of the game’s more underrated second basemen. He was an All-Star in 2017, but he’s been an offensive threat for some time, hitting at least 20 home runs each year between 2016 and 2019. Last year, he signed a one-year deal with the Tigers just like Schoop did, and he had a nice campaign, hitting eight home runs and posting a solid .799 OPS. Schoop also has a 7.2 career defensive WAR.

As well as Schoop played last year, there’s a good chance that a lot of teams are going to be interested. After signing the one-year deal last year, given that he hasn’t reached 30 yet, he’s likely to get a multi-year deal. That might turn the Cubs away.

Yet if they are serious about upgrading second base while having another option at DH, Schoop is someone they should take a look at. The position has a lot of solid free agent targets, including D.J. LeMahieu, Kolten Wong, Jonathan Villar, Cesar Hernandez, Tommy La Stella and former Cub Jason Kipnis. Schoop might still be an afterthought to some teams and could come cheaper than some of the names listed above.