3 biggest Chicago Cubs offseason mistakes and how they can still be fixed
There is no doubt that the Chicago Cubs have had a successful off-season. While there certainly are free agents that the Cubs missed out on this offseason, there is no question that the team was active. The signings that the Cubs have made this winter should raise expectations for the team when Opening Day arrives at the end of March and that is reason to be excited for the season ahead.
Despite the success that the Cubs have had this off-season, there were also mistakes that were made. That is why the Cubs are still a clear level below the St. Louis Cardinals in regard to competing in the National League Central division. Whether or not the Cubs are on the same plan as the Milwaukee Brewers is debated but if they show a willingness to correct the mistakes that were made, they could take a second step forward.
3 biggest Chicago Cubs offseason mistakes: No extensions for Ian Happ or Nico Hoerner
The Cubs entered the offseason with one of their goals being to make progress on potential contract extensions for left fielder Ian Happ and second baseman Nico Hoerner. Happ is a free agent after this season, and Hoerner is set to reach free agency in 2026.
Solution: Trade Happ and sign Hoerner to a contract extension in-season
Unless Happ signs an extension before Opening Day, it seems likely that he will test free agency after the season given there does not appear to be any progress made on a new deal with the Cubs. With that in mind, the solution for the Cubs to this mistake would be to trade Happ at the Major League Baseball trade deadline. If done right, the Cubs could be in a position to move Happ at the deadline to address another area of need at the Major League level. Mind you, this is predicated on one of the following--Pete Crow-Armstrong, Brennen Davis, Kevin Alcantara, or Owne Caissie--taking another step forward in their development toward the Major League level.
For Hoerner, the goal for the Cubs should still be to sign their starting second baseman to an extension. The situation with Hoerner is not nearly as dire considering he does not reach free agent until 2026.