At the beginning of the 2022-2023 offseason, the Chicago Cubs were linked to all four superstar free agent shortstops (Carlos Correa, Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts, and Dansby Swanson). There were many reports that they wanted to address the lack of offensive production and landing one of these players would help kick-start the rebuilding process. Some have even suggested that keeping Nico Hoerner at shortstop and focusing on other areas of need would be more beneficial.
Nevertheless, fans have been told by the front office and management that it was time to start spending money. Insiders have thrown their weight around and predicted which superstar shortstop made the most sense for the Cubs. Fans have been anxiously waiting and checking their phones on any type of news report for a headline to say Chicago has a signed contract with another All-Star player.
Unfortunately, they have struck out in their first three at-bats. Turner, Bogaerts, and Correa have all signed deals with other organizations for at least 11 years and $280 million. This appears to be the going rate for acquiring a player of this caliber. Swanson looks to capitalize on these recent contracts and will probably be expecting something very similar.
The MLB Network tweeted out a very interesting proposition that the Cubs could potentially sit tight with their current rising star, Hoerner, at shortstop. They were trying to compare the 2022 statistics that are similar between Hoerner and Swanson. While those numbers look the same, except for the salary, you may need to take a deeper look into the two players and their careers.
Swanson will be 29 when entering the 2023 campaign. He has already been an All-Star, earned a Gold Glove award, and won a World Series with the Atlanta Braves back in 2021. This past year, he hit for a slash line of .277/.329/.447 with 25 home runs, 18 stolen bases, and collected 96 runs batted in, while scoring 99 runs.
Hoerner just completed his first full season with Cubs. At age 25, he was able to hit for a .281/.327/.410 slash line. Those statistics are looking just as good as Swanson’s. However, Nico only hit 10 home runs, swiped 20 bases, drove in 55 runs, and scored 60 times.
In the end, the Cubs need to start acting like a big market organization and spend some money. They would be a better team with some sort of combination of Nico Hoerner and Dansby Swanson up the middle. Both players are solid, and the rebuilding process needs to start now. The Cubs’ front office will be missing an opportunity if they strike out a fourth time this offseason in acquiring one of the premier shortstops in the game.