Chicago Cubs News: Cubs bolster four Gold Gloves in 2023

League Championship Series - Milwaukee Brewers v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Five
League Championship Series - Milwaukee Brewers v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Five / Harry How/GettyImages

After acquiring Tucker Barnhart as a platoon catcher to pair with Yan Gomes, the Chicago Cubs picked up their 3rd Gold Glover defender of the offseason. Cody Bellinger started what became a trend for the front office of acquiring top-tier defenders, followed by Dansby Swanson and the aforementioned Barnhart. Adding Ian Happ to the mix, who won his first this season, gives the Cubs the ability to have half of the players in the field with some hardware to their name.

Elsewhere, Seiya Suzuki boasted a cannon in right field, though he recorded a -4 outs above average. The main player I'd like to point out here is Nico Hoerner. Hoerner tied for second place at shortstop with 13 outs above average and ten runs prevented. If it weren't for Swanson, he might have beaten out Francisco Lindor for Gold Glove at shortstop. Nevertheless, my money is on Hoerner to win a Gold Glove at second base in 2023. Jeff Mcneil and Tommy Edman will certainly give him a run for his money, but there's no reason to think he won't be even better sliding over to second.

The Cubs started their new defensive motto by targeting a two-way catcher, such as Sean Murphy or Christian Vazquez. Ultimately, they missed on both but wound up with somebody solid defensively throughout his career thus far. Adding Bellinger to the mix, who has been an elite defender in center field and first base, was another critical step in the right direction.

When you have pitchers such as Marcus Stroman and Jameson Taillon who induce a lot of ground balls, elite defense will be imperative in 2023. Furthermore, the banning of the shift will see several pitchers without a good defense behind give up a higher BAA than they are used to. As it sits, however, Chicago boasts the best up-the-middle defense in the game, equating to several runs being prevented.

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Though the Cubs aren't done in free agency yet, the defense is pretty set. They could still add four-time Gold Glove winner Eric Hosmer if they find that he can still contribute. But in any case, the Cubs will need to add another bat to the lineup. They are very deep in their rotation and should never have to worry too much about not having a well-rested guy to start a game. Their bullpen looks good. Their defense in the field looks elite. Finding that key bat is all that's left to help put the Cubs in contention at this point.