Chicago Cubs: The 2022 Opening Day dream lineup

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Jason Heyward / Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Batting eighth for the 2022 Chicago Cubs: Jason Heyward (RF)

Look, odds are next to nil the Cubs actually go out and, in one single winter, add the likes of Starling Marte, Carlos Correa and Matt Olson. But if they really wanted to, the money (and prospects) are there to make it happen.

But not even in a dream world are they going to get a team to take on the two years and $44 million left on Jason Heyward’s contract. They’ll have to hope the veteran and five-time Gold Glover can bounce back from his disastrous 2021 season that was cut short by a concussion.

After a breakout 2020 at the dish, there was legitimate hope that Heyward had figured something out in the COVID-shortened season. But alas, that wasn’t the case. He was more than 30 percent below league average with the bat in his hands and looked sluggish on the bases, to boot.

Batting ninth: Nick Madrigal (2B)

One of the bigger names acquired at the July 30 trade deadline, Nick Madrigal never got to suit up for his new team due to a hamstring injury. Still, between him and Codi Heuer, the Cubs are definitely the early winners in the Craig Kimbrel trade – and that could only get worse for White Sox fans in 2022.

Madrigal – a notoriously solid contact bat – will get the nod at second base in 2022, looking to maintain his lifelong streak of never batting below .300 in a single season. Pairing him with the Gold Glover Olson at first could do wonders for his glove work and help him take things to new heights upon his return.