Chicago Cubs: 4 players to be thankful for: No.3 Nico Hoerner
Given that the Cubs have targeted the top four free-agent shortstops this winter, many fans have pushed back against that idea because the team seemingly already has a shortstop in place in the form of Nico Hoerner. Before we express why we are thankful for Hoerner, let's once again remind everyone that the Cubs' pursuit of the free-agent shortstops has nothing to do with Hoerner. The Cubs need offensive improvement in 2023. The easiest way for the Cubs to find that improvement is through free agency. Outside of Aaron Judge, the best free-agent offensive players available this offseason play the shortstop position. The Cubs can sign one of those shortstops, improve their offense, and shift Hoerner over to second base where he projects a potential Gold Glove defender.
Hoerner is very much a part of the long-term future of the Cubs. Under team control in 2026, Hoerner proved to be one of the team's best players in 2022, a season that represented his first full season at the Major League level. In 517 plate appearances last season, Hoerner had a slash line of .281/.327/.410/.736.
Relax, Cubs' fans, Hoerner is very much a part of the Cubs' plans moving forward and we are thankful for that.