A question mark follows Nick Madrigal's name on the Chicago Cubs roster sheet as it remains uncertain what role he will have with the team in 2023. Madrigal, by way of the Cubs' signing shortstop Dansby Swanson, lost his starting position with the team this offseason as incumbent shortstop Nico Hoerner has moved over to second base.
Recent speculation has suggested that the Boston Red Sox may be a team that has an interest in trading for Madrigal as they look for middle infield help in light of Xander Bogaerts signing with the San Diego Padres this offseason and Trevor Story likely missing the first half of the season. It would appear that the Red Sox addressed that need on Tuesday, however, in a trade with the Kansas City Royals.
Mondesi has elite speed at the Major League level but has struggled offensively. In 54 plate appearances with the Kansas City Royals last season, Mondesi slashed .140/.204/.344.
What this means for the Cubs is that it is looking more likely that Madrigal will start the season on the team's 26-man roster. The White Sox have also been rumored as a potential trade partner with the Cubs for Madrigal but the idea was more speculative than actual reporting that a deal is being discussed.
Reports from the Cubs' Convention two weeks ago and on the ground at the team's facility is that Madrigal has been taking reps at third base. As the Cubs enter the season, it would appear that third base is likely to be handled with a platoon between Christopher Morel and Patrick Wisdom. If Madrigal proves to have the arm strength to handle third base to a degree that would allow for regular playing time, then that could be how he factors into the Cubs' plans for 2023.
For as much as has been made regarding Madrigal's struggles during his first season with the Cubs last season, there is a reason for the team to still believe in his hit tool. In the second half of the 2022 season, Madrigal slashed .277/.348/.317 in 113 plate appearances. It may stand to benefit the Cubs if they give Madrigal an opportunity at third base to begin the season as it would continue with the theme of raising the floor of production for the team's offense.