3 backup options for the Cubs if they go cheap after missing out on Jose Abreu

Chicago White Sox v Oakland Athletics
Chicago White Sox v Oakland Athletics / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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In a move that will almost certainly put Cubs fans on edge, veteran first baseman Jose Abreu - who was reportedly at the top of the team's wish list - has reportedly agreed to terms with the World Series champion Houston Astros, taking the premier first base option off the free agent market.

That puts Jed Hoyer and Carter Hawkins in the unenviable position of falling back to lower-priced backup options on the market. Abreu was, by far, the best fit for a Cubs team in need of a stable veteran presence capable of shouldering the load offensively heading into 2023.

Let's take a look at three potential options on the free agent market who could, at the very least, provide an insurance policy alongside prospect Matt Mervis at first base. We've heard a lot around Trey Mancini and Josh Bell, but the Cubs missing out on Abreu makes me worry they're looking for more of a stopgap than a proven commodity.

3 first base options if the Cubs go cheap again: #3 - Yuli Gurriel

Abreu joins an Astros team that will likely now move on from longtime first baseman Yuli Gurriel who, at age 38, turned in one of the worst seasons of his career - just a year removed from winning a batting title and a Gold Glove. Knowing the Cubs are adamant about avoiding long-term deals, throwing a one-year offer Gurriel's way would be about the lowest effort option out there to address first base.

This year with the Astros, Gurriel slashed just .242/.288/.360 - but managed to rank in the top six percent of qualified hitters with a 12.5 percent strikeout rate. The Cubs love high-contact guys, but I'd rather see someone with more pop brought in alongside Mervis.

If this is the 'solution' Hoyer puts forward, Cubs fans are going to be irate - regardless of the track record Gurriel has. That would be a clear one-year, slap a bandaid on a wound way to address first base while spending as little money as humanly possible.