For the second time in as many years, the Chicago Cubs will take in the postseason like the rest of us – from either the seats or home. Despite a strong second-half performance that saw David Ross’ club run off an impressive and unexpected 39-31 mark, the Cubs fell well short of both the division crown and the wild card spots, even with the expanded format.
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pay attention to the weeks ahead. There are plenty of guys still playing who could wind up being relevant in the months to come as Chicago gears up for what’s expected to be a transformative offseason on the North Side.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at 4 guys playing in the postseason this year who make sense as fits on a prospective 2023 Chicago Cubs roster:
Cubs: 4 perfect fits on postseason rosters: #4 – Trey Mancini
At the trade deadline, the Baltimore Orioles decided to sell – despite being in the thick of the AL Wild Card race. To manager Brandon Hyde’s credit, he kept his team in it right up into the final days of the season – but fell short of punching their postseason ticket.
One of the moves made by GM Mike Elias was to trade fan favorite Trey Mancini to the Astros. With a youth movement not only well underway but producing ahead of schedule, the O’s decided to part ways with their longtime first baseman – breaking hearts in Baltimore, but also giving Mancini a chance to win a ring in Houston.
To say the trade hasn’t worked as well as the Astros had hoped is putting things mildly. Since the deal, Mancini has just a .622 OPS – including a brutal .176 average – and has just eight home runs. The good news for a team like the Cubs is his market could be a bit more tepid this winter, as he hits free agency for the first time.
I don’t look at the 30-year-old former eighth-rounder as any sort of savior. Rather, he could be a nice insurance policy behind Matt Mervis at first base next year. He’s not only capable of playing first, but also has reps in the corner outfield – and as impressive as Mervis was this year, it seems unlikely Chicago heads into 2023 with all their first base eggs in that basket.