Chicago Cubs: The 2022 Opening Day dream lineup

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs / Willson Contreras
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

Batting second for the 2022 Chicago Cubs: Willson Contreras (C)

Again, this is a dream scenario for Opening Day 2022 – so two-time All-Star catcher Willson Contreras is in the lineup, batting second and fresh off a multi-year contract extension in the offseason.

Whether or not you think Contreras is one of the best catchers in the game is neither here nor there. He’s a solidly above-average offensive backstop with a strong arm who brings an energy this team sorely lacked at times. Between that and the fact the alternatives to Contreras are nothing short of terrifying, Chicago would be well-served in extending him in the weeks and months that come.

The key to his success in 2022? Getting a blow here and there. He’s been one of the most overworked catchers in the game in recent years and we saw it take a steep toll on his offense down the stretch last season.

Batting third: Carlos Correa (SS)

Wednesday’s report indicating Chicago is leery of long-term, high-dollar free agent deals aside, there’s no one better suited to join the Cubs than slugging shortstop Carlos Correa.

Since his arrival in the league, Houston has been nothing short of a juggernaut, winning the World Series* in 2017 and reaching the Fall Classic in three of the last five seasons. Sure, he found himself entangled in the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, but he re-emerged as a leader in that clubhouse and, finally healthy, put up big-time numbers this year.

Without Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo or Javier Baez, the Cubs need some star power. At age 27, Correa is young enough to justify a lengthy deal and gives the team a decent chance of not coming to regret it in the years to come, too.