3 things the Cubs are missing to be a serious World Series threat
By Jake Misener
This year's Cubs team looks dramatically different than what we've seen in recent years. Only Kyle Hendricks, who will open the season on the injured list, remains from that 2016 World Series championship team and after a nearly $300 million offseason spending spree, it's a lot of new faces in the mix as Opening Day draws nearer.
Dansby Swanson, Tucker Barnhart, Jameson Taillon, Cody Bellinger, Brad Boxberger, Michael Fulmer, Trey Mancini and Eric Hosmer headline the newcomers - who will look to help the Cubs get back to the postseason for the first time (excluding the shortened 2020 season) since 2018. As exciting as change is, though, it would take a lot of things breaking the Cubs' way for this team to achieve that level of success.
Here are 3 things this club is missing to be considered a legitimate World Series contender.
3 things Cubs are missing to be a serious World Series threat - #3: A true superstar presence in the lineup
If not for the fact there were four headliners in last winter's free agent shortstop class, the Cubs may very well have come away with none. But they landed Dansby Swanson on a seven-year, $177 million deal - the second-richest contract in franchise history.
Swanson certainly elevates those around him and brings a long history of winning with him to Chicago, but there's no doubt that signing someone like World Baseball Classic hero Trea Turner would likely have moved the needle in a more drastic manner.
Don't get me wrong. Bringing in Swanson and sliding Nico Hoerner back to second, where he was a Gold Glove finalist in 2020, gives the Cubs one of the best middle infield combos in all of baseball. But this lineup still lacks the transformative presence true contenders like the Padres, Dodgers, Yankees and Astros boast and it's a clear separator between the North Siders and the clubs they're chasing.