The Chicago Cubs currently have five players on the active roster who can play third base, yet their plan for the position is pretty unclear for 2024. The primary third baseman right now is Jeimer Candelario, who is only under contract for the remainder of the 2023 season. The other players include Miles Mastrobuoni, Patrick Wisdom, and Nick Madrigal.
Mastrobuoni is a capable enough defender at the position, but his bat is not up to par. The utility man's wRC+ is 60 on the year, which is 40 points below the league average. His talents are better used in a pinch runner or a defensive replacement role.
Almost the same can be said about Patrick Wisdom, who plays more than fine defense at the hot corner. But Widsom's bat is becoming Joey Gallo-level bad, as the guy smacks a ton of home runs (21) but strikes out at an alarming rate (37.8%). At 32 years old, Wisdom is not the long-term option at third base and his spot on the active roster should be seriously looked at in the offseason.
That leaves Nick Madrigal, who worked hard in the offseason to learn how to play third base and he transformed himself into a plus defender at the position. But his is another average bat that can't hit for power. Given Madrigal's small stature, it is also concerning that he isn't a real threat on the base paths. Since Madrigal still has three years of control left and has the ability to play third and second base, packaging him in a trade could be a smart idea.
With third base being a traditional power position, and the Cubs in need of home runs, the team should look to upgrade long-term at the position to make their lineup more formidable. Here are four candidates to helm the hot corner for the Cubs next year.