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5 batters the Chicago Cubs should target in free agency

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: 5 batters to target in free agency – #5: Starling Marte

Starling Marte has quietly had one of the better bats in baseball during his 10-year career. Slashing .289/.346/.452 during that span, he has also notched 280 stolen bases to go along with 123 home runs and 477 RBI. He may not be a record-setting threat on the basepaths, but he can definitely help Chicago manufacture some more runs.

Adding a player such as Marte gives you that speed on the basepaths. The Cubs currently don’t have anybody that can steal 30 bags a year, or at least not been given the green light to do so. Javier Baez had 13, he’s gone. Rafael Ortega and Jason Heyward both lead the team with five. Marte is not a cleanup hitter but he’s the kind of guy that can get on base, steal second and be driven in by a Nico Hoerner or Nick Madrigal contact bat type of guy.

The Cubs’ approach has been to swing for the fences far too long and when it doesn’t work, they find themselves falling behind in games with no way to claw their way back outside of the long ball.

This year, Marte is having an exceptional season, slashing .315/.408/.472 with nine home runs, 30 driven in and 28 stolen bases, scoring 59 runs on the season. He currently has a WAR of 3.5, showing he’s valuable to any team. Luckily, he is a free agent this winter and will be going into his age-33 season. He currently earns $12.5 million – and you can expect him to be somewhere in that range in his next deal, as well.

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