5 free agent signings that would make the Cubs World Series contenders in 2024

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3. 3B Matt Chapman

Third base has been another revolving door for the Cubs this year as Nick Madrigal, Patrick Wisdom, and Miles Mastrobuoni have been lackluster options that all serve as adequate defenders, but below-average bats. The Cubs did go out and buy a third baseman at the deadline when they traded for Jeimer Candelario, who also happened to be the best bat on the market. Some want to see the Cubs resign Candelario, and I don't blame them. The guy is great on defense and he is a switch-hitter with some pop (35 doubles and 17 home runs). However, I think Matt Chapman would be a bit better.

Chapman is currently playing out the remainder of his two-year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays and he will hit free agency this winter. Chapman and Candelario are having fairly similar seasons at the plate so I think it's fair to compare the two.

Home Runs

Doubles

Slash

wRC+

K%

Candelario

17

35

.274/.358/.493

129

20.9%

Chapman

15

35

.251/.342/.441

118

27.9%

While Candelario is having a slightly better year at the plate, the area where Chapman has the clear edge is on defense. While Candelario is by no means bad, Chapman is almost in a category of his own with 3 gold gloves and 2 platinum gloves under his belt. He is reminiscent of Nolan Arenado at the position and adding him alongside Dansby Swanson, Nico Hoerner, and Cody Bellinger would put the Cubs in the conversation of having the best defensive infield in all of baseball.

At 30 years old, Chapman is only slightly older than Candelario but the former has also shown the ability to hit for power in the past. Chapman has had three different seasons where he exceeded the 25-home run mark. The pop, defense, and recent experience on a winning team should put Chapman high on every front office's wish list. With four gold-glove caliber defenders on the dirt, the Cubs' groundball-heavy pitching staff would be put in an even better position to excel.