3 players in the postseason the Chicago Cubs should pursue for 2024

As the Northsiders look to reach new heights after a disappointing 2023, they should look to the teams that made it to the dance for upgrades.

Pittsburgh Pirates v Philadelphia Phillies
Pittsburgh Pirates v Philadelphia Phillies / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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Hitter: Matt Chapman

While the offseason will be rich with free-agent starters, difference-makers on offense are a bit harder to come by outside of trades. The biggest bats, like Shohei Ohtani and Cody Bellinger, aren't on playoff rosters and the Cubs may ultimately decide to go down the trade route with big names like Pete Alonso and Juan Soto. The Toronto Blue Jays do have at least one free agent worthy of consideration in Matt Chapman.

The defensive stalwart is far from without his warts. Following an explosive start in which he hit .384/.465/.687 through March and April, Chapman fell flat the rest of the season with a .205/.298/.361 slash line from May 1 onward. His performance was still solid enough to earn a 110 wRC+, but he wasn't particularly close to his best days in Oakland where he topped out at a 139 wRC+ in 2018.

There seems to be a bit of bad luck baked into the results, however. Statcast shows his expected slugging percentage (.457) and expected weighted on-base average (xwOBA) (.339) were both higher than the actual numbers (.424 and .328 respectively). He also posted a 98th or higher percentile average exit velocity, barrel percentage, and hard hit percentage while sporting a solid walk rate and 94th percentile chase rate. There's hope that a swing adjustment and a change of scenery can help Chapman bounce back with such a promising thump in that bat. Coupled with four outs above average at third base, there's plenty to be intrigued by.

If the Cubs signed Chapman, he shouldn't be one of their big additions but rather a supplemental piece that can give them an infield defense to be envious of. This team desperately needs power too and there's no shortage of it in his bat. Even if he's not a superstar at the plate, Chapman's one of the best options to fill a hole at third base this offseason barring a surprise trade.

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