Chicago Cubs: 3 players who definitely will not be back in 2022

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Matt Duffy / Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Matt Duffy showed he’s still got plenty to offer a contender

The next guy on this list would be welcomed back to the North Side with open arms. The only problem here is with what he did on the field this year, he’s going to get offers to help contending teams – and the Cubs really don’t feel like they’ll qualify for that designation next year.

Limited to just 97 games due to injury, Matt Duffy was an early spark plug for the Cubs’ offense before he hit the shelf. On the whole, he still put up a respectable .287/.357/.381 line and accumulated 1.6 WAR, per Baseball Reference.

He’s split neutral, relatively speaking, meaning you can put him in the starting lineup on any given day. Although his strikeout rate climbed to north of 19 percent this year, he walks a decent amount and gives you quality at-bats pretty regularly.

Given the questions surrounding Nico Hoerner’s health (and, really, where he should be penciled in long-term), having Duffy back in the mix next year as an insurance policy up the middle and at the hot corner, where Patrick Wisdom impressed but struck out entirely too much, would be ideal.

But the simple truth is this. He bounced back and re-established his value as a quality bench piece with Chicago in 2021. I have a hard time seeing a scenario where the best offer he gets is to come back to the Cubs when there are so many teams out there in need of infield depth.