The Chicago Cubs signing of Trey Mancini over the weekend has pushed the discussion for the team heading into 2023 in a direction where some around Major League Baseball believe that the North Siders could sneak into the postseason. Odds makers are still shy on the Cubs' potential for the 2023 season, however, as they are currently listed at +4000 to win the National League this season.
The fact remains that the Cubs, despite their successful season, are still a team that needs to exceed expectations if they are going to be a legitimate contender in the National League. The reason, however, why the Cubs' offseason was so successful is because they have raised their floor. Assuming health, it is very unlikely that the bottom will fall out from under the Cubs within the first two months of the season as it did in 2022. After the Mancini signing, the Cubs still have about $10MM in space before they reach the first luxury tax tier. Meaning, if the Cubs are competitive to the point where they are buyers at the Major League trade deadline, the team has the flexibility to add a player.
Chicago Cubs upgrades at first base
The biggest quip to be had with how the Cubs constructed the 2022 roster was the team refused to address the first base position. Frank Schwindel was a fun story in the second half of 2021 but any team that has the true intent of contending would have never entered Schwindel as the sole option at first base. With the moves that the Cubs have made this offseason, it is clear they have learned from their mistake.
There has also been an uptick in concern from Cubs' fans regarding first base prospect Matt Mervis potentially being blocked in light of the Mancini signing. Mervis is not blocked. It is once again important to remember that Mervis was a fringe prospect before the 2022 season. Mervis is entering his third season in professional baseball and while this is not a reason to sour on what he did last season and his potential, it is misguided to believe that he is going to succeed at the Major League level right away. Mancini's addition further allows the Cubs to ease Mervis into the Major League lifestyle and relieve the pressure on the prospect of having to succeed right away.
Chicago Cubs' farm system can create runs
"Lightning and Thunder" coming to Wrigley Field soon.