An early 26-man roster prediction ahead of Cubs spring training

Reviewing the list of NRIs and the 40-man roster to predict who will be on the Chicago Cubs' 26-man roster on Opening Day.

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Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages
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Early roster prediction - The outfield

1. Ian Happ LF
2. Seiya Suzuki RF
3. Cody Bellinger CF

Bench OF: Mike Tauchman

You guessed it. I'm adding Martinez and Cody Bellinger to this lineup, going big or going home style. With the Blue Jays out of the running for everybody, the San Francisco Giants acquiring Jorge Soler at D.H. already, and Christopher Morel heading to third base, it all boils down to Matt Chapman to the Giants and the Cubs to swoop in for everybody else. That has been the plan all along, knowing there were always more free agents this winter that can make an impact out there than teams that need them. It appears Hoyer's plan not to pay a premium to construct a winning ballclub can come to fruition.

Noticeably, I'm leaving Pete Crow-Armstrong and Alexander Canario off the OD roster. Crow-Armstrong will benefit from getting more reps at Triple-A without the spotlight on him, as he was overmatched in the few chances he received. Canario is a bat you can utilize in a next-man-up situation to play the outfield or DH if necessary.

We heard for a while that the Cubs would be the most aggressive team the rest of the way, and that has stayed the same. All the waiting for Jed Hoyer is about to pay off, and this team, the new manager included, will have the talent to burst out of the gate to start the season.

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