Chicago Cubs: The 2022 Opening Day dream lineup
By Jake Misener
This offseason is going to be anything but ordinary with the expiring CBA hanging like a specter above everything that’s going down right now. But for Jed Hoyer and the Chicago Cubs, that can’t be a distraction given the importance of making some big-time moves this winter.
Chicago completely lacks any sort of star power now – with the possible exceptions of Willson Contreras and Kyle Hendricks – and you’d be hard-pressed to find any sort of national marketing campaign that features the latter. Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez were all sent packing in July – along with other key contributors like Andrew Chafin, Ryan Tepera and All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel.
But that doesn’t mean 2022 will be a wash. The Cubs have a ton of money to spend and a loaded free agent class in their crosshairs. If Hoyer and his revamped front office strike gold and flip over this roster in dramatic fashion this winter, here’s what the 2022 Opening Day dream lineup could look like.
Leading off for the 2022 Chicago Cubs: Starling Marte (CF)
Probably the highest profile outfielder in this year’s free agent class, Starling Marte would immediately transform the Cubs’ lineup with his speed and baserunning abilities. He swiped 47 bags this season, which he split between the Marlins and Athletics, while putting up a 132 OPS+ and an on-base percentage north of .380.
Since Dexter Fowler left following the 2016 season, Chicago has sorely lacked a table setter atop the lineup. Bringing in Marte improves the defense in center field, adds a speed element and strong on-base skillset to the mix and could really help this offense find a new identity in 2022.