Chicago Cubs News: Team continues offensive upgrade with Trey Mancini

Sep 27, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros left fielder Trey Mancini (26) hits a sacrifice
Sep 27, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros left fielder Trey Mancini (26) hits a sacrifice / Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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In what has become a trend of the Chicago Cubs' offseason, the team continued to raise their floor of expected production for the 2023 season on Saturday as they signed free-agent first baseman Trey Mancini to a two-year deal.

After the signing of veteran first baseman Eric Hosmer, there was a belief that the Cubs were done adding to the position player side of their roster. The expectation was that Hosmer would serve as the team's primary first baseman while first base prospect Matt Mervis began his Major League career as the team's designated hitter. Now, it would seem likely that Hosmer will be the team's first baseman while Mancini gets a bulk of the designated hitter plate appearances.

For Mervis, the expectation now is that he will begin the 2023 season with Triple-A Iowa. What is important to remember is that the Cubs are only paying Hosmer the league minimum. Meaning, if we reach June and Hosmer is struggling offensively, then there certainly should be a discussion centered around the Cubs' waiving Hosmer and promoting Mervis to the Major League level.

The addition of Mancini provides the Cubs with some much-needed power. While it seems unlikely that Mancini will reach the 35-home run level that he did with the Baltimore Orioles in 2019, FanGraphs ZiPs projections still have Mancini reaching 20 home runs and 28 doubles in 2023.

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After the Mancini signing, now it would seem that the Cubs are done adding to the position player side of the roster. The focus for the Cubs may shift toward rounding out the bullpen. The Cubs' decision to designate Mark Leiter Jr on Friday may indicate their preference to go with their young arms but there is no question that the team could still use another left-handed reliever in the bullpen to pair with Brandon Hughes.

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