Although the Chicago Cubs have missed on a couple of their key targets, the winter is young, and there is still a ton of talent to help them move toward contention this winter. Despite Jose Abreu signing with the Houston Astros, Xander Bogaerts signing with the San Diego Padres, to Kodai Senga signing with the New York Mets, there still happens to be several avenues the Cubs' front office can turn down to meet a level of contention in the NL Central. What exactly can the Cubs still do, and what is the best approach to still play winning baseball?
For one, the Cubs’ interest in Senga stretched back to when it was first announced that he would be coming to the MLB next season. That one stung a little. Carlos Rodon is still out there, but there’s almost zero mention of the Cubs in his regard. The contract length at which Rodon seeks is too great for the Cubs due to a few injury-plagued seasons that don’t substantially lower the comfort level, even if he has been incredibly durable the last two seasons. With Senga off the board, the Cubs’ top-of-the-rotation options have dwindled to depending on trade to find a true ace.
Let’s not forget that the Cubs had the second-best ERA in the National League in the second half of the 2022 season. With Jameson Taillon added to the mix, the Cubs have a plethora of above-average arms that should do just fine unless something unforeseen happens. Missing on Senga wasn’t ideal, but it wasn’t something you depended on to produce winning baseball in Chicago next season. There are too many impact bats still on the market that can produce runs at a high clip for the Cubs in 2023.
Chicago Cubs: It’s too early to hit the panic button on this offseason
Regardless of the misfires, the Cubs are still in the thick of it with Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson. With the list of teams still in the mix for one of the two down to three between the San Francisco Giants, Minnesota Twins, and Cubs, Jed Hoyer and crew still have a chance to make the huge splash that will give the organization the face-lift it so desperately needs. Signing Bellinger and Mancini's rumors all help move the needle a smidge in the right direction. But if the Cubs take care of what they know they have to do and land a shortstop; It gives them a jolt in the right direction.
The Cubs need a superstar. That much has been lacking since the departure of Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Javier Baez. Those were three guys you could pencil into the lineup every day and expect at least something good to happen. The north side needs more of that. The farm system is plentiful, albeit with a lack of star potential. The Market will not change, and the Cubs must understand this. If they do, there is nothing to worry about yet. Let Jed Hoyer do his job.
Aside from two All-Star shortstops, you still have J.D. Martinez, Brandon Drury, Michael Conforto, and others that could be a significant splash in their own right. Not everybody has to cost $350.0MM to make a difference in baseball. Unless you’re the New York Mets, It’s been a slow week for mostly everybody since Xander Bogaerts signed. Hardly anything is moving, but that’s not a bad omen for the Cubs whatsoever. The offseason can be long and grueling at times. Consider times like these, the dog days of winter.