Chicago Cubs fans will get an early sense of what the team will be expected to do during the 2023 Major League Baseball regular season as FanGraphs is set to release the team's ZiPS projections for the upcoming season.
There are two big takeaways from the preview of the Cubs' ZiPS projections for 2023, the first being that projections are favorable for new shortstop Dansby Swanson. Previously, FanGraphs Steamer projections had Swanson as a 3.4 WAR player in 2023. If Swanson can approach a near-5 WAR level in 2023, that certainly would bode well for the overall success of the team.
The other takeaway is that it is very clear as to why the Cubs should look for improvements at the catcher, first base, third base, and designated hitter spots on their roster. The Cubs appear to be targeting Tucker Barnhart as a platoon partner for Yan Gomes, and there is movement on the team's interest in both free-agent first baseman Trey Mancini and free-agent outfielder Michael Conforto. Ideally, the Cubs are able to add both Mancini and Conforto and that would significantly alter the expectations for the team heading into the 2023 season.
Chicago Cubs' 40-man roster update
The Chicago Cubs officially introduced free-agent starting pitcher Jameson Taillon on Monday and the move brings the team's 40-man roster to 39. The Cubs still have to officially announce the Dansby Swanson signing and they appear to be close to a deal with free-agent starting pitcher Drew Smyly. Those two moves would bring the team's 40-man roster to 41 and thus create the need for a corresponding roster move.
Players to keep an eye on in regard to potentially being moved off the 40-man roster in a corresponding roster move are first baseman Alfonso Rivas, catcher/infielder PJ Higgins, and utility infielders Zach McKinstry and Miles Mastrobuoni.
Mychal Gives signs with Baltimore Orioles
Former Chicago Cubs reliever Mychal Givens is signing with the Baltimore Orioles.