Given Craig Kimbrel’s struggles – especially in the postseason – much has been made of the deal that sent the closer to the crosstown rival White Sox in exchange for Codi Heuer and Nick Madrigal. Almost every other move the Chicago Cubs made won’t pay dividends for years, but both of these guys could have big roles as soon as next year on the North Side.
Fans already got a glimpse of the stuff Heuer possesses, and it’s not hard to see him being a prominent piece of the bullpen over the next few seasons. Madrigal, the other piece of that trade, is a guy that fans didn’t get to see in action after the deadline due to a torn hamstring that sidelined him for a majority of the 2021 season. Still, his inclusion in the trade is causing consternation on both sides of the move with fans and probably, the front offices, as well.
Chicago Cubs: Where do you put Madrigal and Hoerner defensively?
Madrigal is somewhat of a unicorn in today’s game- a guy who doesn’t do two things that everyone else seems to do in the modern game: hit home runs and strike out. If your team’s plan or modus operandi is deliberately shifting from striking out a lot to putting the ball in play, getting rid of Javier Baez in trade and picking up Nick Madrigal in another would represent a pretty obvious win. Those two are the far ends of the spectrum, and depending on who you talk to, it’s both a good and bad thing.
Here’s the thing though: the Cubs already had a second baseman who put the ball in play and didn’t strike out nearly as much as most of their guys. Nico Hoerner, while he’s dealt with several injuries since joining the big club, has proven that the puts the ball in play and to boot, he’s even gotten votes as a Gold Glove second baseman.