Chicago Cubs: Three things they need to do to get back on track

Ian Happ - (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Ian Happ - (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs / Ian Happ
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

Cubs will roll with Happ, Heyward and… a new face in the outfield

As things stand, Chicago has some options and ways to mix-and-match. Most notably, Kris Bryant comes to mind for the left field vacancy – that is, if he’s not traded by Opening Day. Otherwise, Happ could slide over to left and Jed Hoyer could go shopping for a center fielder.

Kevin Pillar, Jon Jay or Billy Hamilton would be a good fit for the North Siders – but that remains to be seen. Stephen Souza Jr, Cameron Maybin and Hamilton are with them no more. Maybin and Hamilton had a good rapport with the Cubs, but we haven’t seen any signs pointing toward a reunion next year.

If you read my work at all, you know that I’m a big Hamilton guy. In 14 games with the Cubs this year, he slashed .300/.364/.600 with an OPS of .964. He added one home run and one RBI with three stolen bases. He might not be quite as fast as he used to be, but he’s still got the ability to turn and burn. As for Maybin? He’s been with 10 teams – five in the last three years – I’d bet he’ll move on.

So, where do they go after Schwarber? I doubt they overspend on left field. Remember, a big factor in letting him go was the roughly $10 million they saved in doing so. The front office seems unlikely to turn around and pay just as much for a comparable replacement. It just doesn’t make sense.