We are at the end of the 2023 campaign, and the Chicago Cubs are closing on at least a Wild Card spot. The next ten games will be critical, as they are set to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks, followed by two light series' against the Rockies and Pirates. Of course, the Cubs just lost a series to the Rockies, so you can't take anything for granted. Looking ahead, however, it's essential to identify how the Cubs can improve moving forward, and much of that has to do with not re-signing players that they don't necessarily have to.
Ahead, we'll go over three players on the Cubs that could reach free agency either because they are set to be unrestricted free agents or because the club doesn't have to pick up their options for 2024. Navigating this road will be extremely important for next season's success, so let's look at three players the Cubs need to let walk this winter.
3 pending free agents to let walk - 3. Michael Fulmer
I have enjoyed watching Fulmer turn his tumultuous season around over the last few months. Given that he was one of the worst relievers in baseball for a while, Fulmer has recorded a 4.42 throughout the season. That is still unacceptable for a team eyeing a postseason appearance. Currently burning a four-million-dollar hole in the front office's pocket, the team can undoubtedly allocate those funds elsewhere to strengthen a more efficient bullpen in 2024.
Fulmer's 2023 went from horrible to great and back to below average, as he has recorded a 4.24 ERA in the second half of the season. Trimming the fat and saving funds will be vital, with the Cubs searching for ways to make the club more competitive next season. If Fulmer finishes the year without an elite stretch to cap off the campaign, he is a lock to reach free agency without a call to return from Jed Hoyer this winter.