Cubs: Ranking the top 5 offseason needs for Chicago

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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The good news? The Cubs will avoid losing 100 games for just the fourth time in franchise history. The bad? Chicago has understood its fate as far as the postseason goes for months now, as the front office continues to replenish a farm system that was largely devoid of impact talent when Jed Hoyer assumed the reins from his mentor Theo Epstein nearly two years ago.

Slated for a strong position in next year’s MLB draft, Hoyer will have the opportunity to continue to add to his farm system next summer but, in the meantime, this offseason is shaping up to be one where the Cubs flex their financial muscle for the first time in years.

There are plenty of needs when you look at this roster – but here are the top 5 offseason needs for the Cubs as the 2022 regular season winds down and we start looking to the months ahead.

Ranking the top 5 offseason needs for the Cubs: #5 – Established relievers

Cubs relievers rank 22nd in terms of ERA this season. Of course, the front office jettisoning the team’s top relief arms at the trade deadline for the second consecutive year did them no favors, but if Chicago wants to start turning the corner next year, the bullpen will need some reliable, established arms.

There’s going to be a large group of returners from this year’s team, but almost all of them are in the early years of their careers. Assuming Keegan Thompson swings back to the pen, he’s a lock as the long man there, while Brandon Hughes has really stepped up and shown  what he’s capable of.

The organizational pitching depth is dramatically improved over year’s past, but introducing some guys who’ve been in those big spots and know what it’s like to grind out an entire 162-game season while competing for a postseason spot will only help those young guys develop and take the next step.