Will Cubs look to a rebound candidate at second in Travis Shaw?

(Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images) /

Taking a slow and steady approach to the offseason, the course of action we’ve seen play out on the North Side this winter has been intriguing, to say the least.

The Chicago Cubs front office has made it known they’re not done making moves and that a starting pitcher and second baseman are on the list of needs. With word of a Jake Arrieta reunion in store, the last piece we can expect to add is another second baseman. A viable option in the market is Travis Shaw.

Many Cubs fans know the name from his time in Milwaukee and Shaw could actually make sense for this group. He has spent six seasons in MLB, two with Boston, three with Milwaukee and one with Toronto.

He has spent most of his time at third base but when he was with the Brewers and they added Mike Moustakas he picked up second base and has since added that to his repertoire. His numbers don’t jump off the page but he could be a good, low-cost fit to round out this roster.

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In six seasons, Shaw has posted a .243 average with an OPS of .773 and OBP of .325. His best season came in 2017 with Milwaukee where he batted .273 with an .862 OPS – so he’s only a few years removed from the top of his game.

The 30-year-old utilityman is the lefty platoon option this team could use. Shaw was paid $4 million by the Blue Jays in 2020 but he’s batted .157 and .239 the past two seasons so we know the Cubs could bring him in as a low-cost option.

I like the idea of Shaw rounding out this group. With David Bote and Nico Hoerner as other second base options, Shaw could be the lefty platoon option this group needs. He was at his best when he had a permanent home at third base and his needing to adapt defensively has definitely caused some uncomfortable feelings – which you can see in his numbers, but he is worth taking a chance on.

Cubs know it’s not a perfect fit, but it might work well enough

There may be some better true second base options out there but when you look at cost, versatility and current needs, Shaw makes sense. The ideal scenario is for Hoerner to get more time in the minors to fully develop so if I’m the front office, before I commit to anyone, I make sure they would commit to full-time reps at second base.

We saw that with the Joc Pederson signing and that transparency was a big reason why he chose the Cubs over the Sox even if though the South Side offered him more money.  The Cubs need everyone to buy in from the get-go if they want the chemistry of a championship group.

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I’m excited for the rest of this offseason and believe if the Cubs make another move to shore up the middle infield, the roster will be talented enough to defend the NL Central crown. Let’s hope Jed Hoyer and company do their homework and get this group ready to go for 2021.