Cubs: Three free agents who could address the second base hole

(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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Marwin Gonzalez / Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

Cubs will face steep competition for Marwin Gonzalez

Personally, I don’t see a situation where the Cubs come up with the money to bring in Marwin Gonzalez. I’ve long admired his defensive versatility. We all know how important a guy who can move around the diamond can be (see Ben Zobrist) and Gonzalez certainly fits that mold.

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Like a lot of players, Gonzalez really struggled in 2020. His 68 OPS+ marked his worst single-season performance since 2013 – and paled in comparison to his breakout 2017 campaign in Houston. If you’re trying to put a value on the Venezuelan native, I’d be far more likely to consider that season an outlier rather than the expectation.

He’s going to give you a roughly league average offensive presence and an ability to cover multiple defensive positions. Last year, he saw time in right field, first, second and third base for the Twins. If you look at the makeup of the Cubs roster right now, having depth at all of those positions would be awfully nice.

If the Cubs end up trading Kris Bryant, they’re going to need someone who can handle the hot corner. David Bote looks like a likely internal candidate, but he can’t handle second and third at the same time. That allows Gonzalez to pick up the slack – and even get some reps in left field along with Pederson, who could definitely use a platoon partner given his struggles against southpaws.