3 players the Cubs can't trade under any circumstances

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Nico Hoerner / Chicago Cubs
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3 players the Cubs can't trade under any circumstances: #1 - Nico Hoerner

Last, but certainly not least, the Cubs should also make Nico Hoerner a cornerstone of the team for years to come. Hoerner hit .281 with 37 extra-base hits and 55 runs batted in during the 2022 season. What really stood out about Hoerner last season is his strikeout rate. The 25-year-old struck out just 57 times in 135 games. Much like Crow-Armstrong in the minor leagues, Hoerner not only swings it well, he can play some really solid defense too. According to Fangraphs, Hoerner ranked fifth in defensive runs saved among shortstops and 11th in fielding percentage.

As mentioned earlier the Cubs went out and got their shortstop of the future this offseason in Swanson. Hoerner will not play shortstop regularly in 2023, but the middle infield these two will form will be one of the best defensive tandems in the entire league. The Cubs pitching is middle of the league in ground ball rate (43 percent), so having that defense up the middle is going to be huge, especially when you consider the lack of swing-and-miss stuff on the staff.

light. Next. The time to trade Kyle Hendricks is long gone, folks

The problem here, and the reason Hoerner is possibly a trade candidate is he will hit free agency in 2025. He is only 25, and the Cubs have already started extension talks with him, but nothing has any real traction. The former first-round pick will certainly generate a lot of interest on the trade market as he inches closer to free agency, however, Hoyer should be quick to shut it down. He has a rare opportunity at hand and now is the time to lock up this do-it-all infield talent.