Batting sixth for the 2022 Chicago Cubs: Kyle Schwarber (DH)
Last winter, the Chicago Cubs made a financially-motivated move and non-tendered Kyle Schwarber. He made them regret that decision with arguably the best season of his big league career, hitting 32 home runs in just 399 at-bats while splitting the season between Washington and Boston.
Really, it was after that trade to the Red Sox that Schwarber erupted. In 41 games with Boston, he slashed a ridiculous .291/.435/.522 – and showed up yet again in October, even running it back against 2015 NLCS nemesis Gerrit Cole in the AL Wild Card game.
Assuming the new CBA brings the designated hitter to the Senior Circuit, Schwarber would be a great reunion target for the front office. If needed, he can give you some time in the outfield, but could finally focus on one thing: hitting. After a breakout showing in 2021, the former first-rounder could come home and get back to depositing balls into the Wrigley Field bleachers.
Batting seventh: Ian Happ (LF)
2022 is make-or-break time for Ian Happ. Halfway through the year, he looked like a sure-fire non-tender candidate. But then, something clicked, and he went on a second-half tear to somewhat salvage what otherwise was going to be one of the worst seasons we’ve seen a guy have in recent memory.
The hypothetical acquisition of Marte would slide Happ over to left field defensively, and hopefully he can get things rolling and build off the momentum he gained late in the year – especially in the final month, when he slashed .317/.405/.615 for Chicago.