Determining the best matches between Cubs and soon-to-be free agents

(Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs are in the midst of an enjoyable stretch here in 2022 as we’ve watched them win three consecutive series against the likes of the Braves, Cardinals and Red Sox, all postseason-caliber teams. The pitching has shown consistency, offense has stepped up and this team has shown that regardless of what the record shows, they believe they can compete with anyone.

While this stretch has been nice, we know the front office has its sights set on 2023. With the rumors of big money set to be spent this offseason, we look at a few potential options to help get this team ready to compete again.

We all know interest remains in Carlos Correa, as the opt-out in his current deal with the Twins makes it a near-guarantee he’ll test the free agent waters again this offseason. Pairing that with the rumor that the Cubs offered the shortstop a big deal his agent never put in front of him and I believe Jed Hoyer will make another push to land the former AL Rookie of the Year. Aside from him, let’s look at a few other potential fits.

It’s no question the Cubs rotation is banged up pretty good – and has been most of the year. New signings Wade Miley and Marcus Stroman have spent time on the IL, Adbert Alzolay has yet to make his season debut and Kyle Hendricks (4.76 ERA) hasn’t been what we know him to be. The staff currently owns a 4.74 team ERA, good for 26th in baseball.

Regardless of whether or not they can get to full strength, this group could use a big addition in the starting rotation department. Amongst the starters set to hit free agency this offseason, the name that has to be the most appealing is Joe Musgrove. In the midst of a breakout season, Musgrove currently boasts a 2.25 ERA, good for third in the National League.

He’s currently on a one-year deal for $8.625 million with the Padres and is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2023. At 29 years old, he’s just scratched the surface in terms of his potential and he’s pitching his way into a big payday this winter. Spotrac has his market value around $22 million and the Cubs will be a team that has the funding available to land him.

Musgrove has spent seven seasons in the big leagues with the Astros, Pirates and Padres and owns a 48-49 record and 3.81 career ERA. While he’s not known for his fastball, Musgrove leans on his sinker, forces soft contact and doesn’t walk batters. He’s entering his prime and would be a perfect fit for a Cubs rotation that is getting younger to build around.

Cubs need to add more slugging into the mix to be successful

When we look to the offensive side of the ball, the Cubs have really done a nice job cleaning up certain areas so far this season. Contact has been a issue in recent years and they currently sit at 10th in baseball with a team average of .249. They also sit at third with an on-base-percentage of .326. While those are great, sitting at 12th in OPS and slugging show us that we still need some pop.

One name that doesn’t get talked about enough is JD Martinez of the Boston Red Sox. Martinez is set to hit free agency this offseason and would be exactly what this lineup is missing. While the 34-year-old is getting up there in age, he’s still finding a way to bat .307 with an OPS of .864 so far in 2022. In his 12-year MLB career he owns a .290 batting average and .880 OPS and is a four-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger recipient.

Martinez is primarily a DH but can hold his own in the outfield, an area of need for the Cubs. He’s one of the best pure hitters in the game and would give this team the pop it’s currently missing. Spotrac currently has his market value at around $23 million but for the production you would be getting on most likely a couple-year deal due to his age, the money is worth spending.

We know Hoyer and his team like to fill things out with some one-year deals and while I’m sure they’ll do that again this offseason, making a few big splashes will really get this team ready to go. This group really isn’t that far off from success as the current group has shown signs of competitive baseball along with all the raving coming out of the farm system.

dark. Next. Now is not the time to trade someone like Kyle Hendricks

Cubbies Crib
Cubbies Crib /

Want your voice heard? Join the Cubbies Crib team!

Write for us!

If the organization stays true to their word this off-season the Cubs could find themselves with a team on the field ready to win in 2023.