Chicago Cubs Rumors: Meetings planned with Josh Bell and Trey Mancini

Championship Series - San Diego Padres v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Three
Championship Series - San Diego Padres v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Three / Elsa/GettyImages

The off-season just kicked off and the wheels already seem to be turning on the Chicago Cubs' end. While all the talk has been focused on José Abreu, a couple of other names popped up today that can be potential Cubs' targets. Jesse Rodgers reported today that the Cubs have already met with the representatives of Trey Mancini, and plan on meeting with the reps of Josh Bell.

It is becoming clear and obvious that Jed Hoyer and company believe that one of the main focuses of the off-season will be to get more production out of the first base position. Looking back upon this season, the first base spot was easily one the Cubs lacked the most. They had a carousel all season of Alfonso Rivas, Patrick Wisdom and PJ Higgins.

The one thing that Cubs fans might ask themselves though is why will the Cubs need a first baseman if prospect Matt Mervis will more than likely be on the roster this upcoming season. If the Cubs were to sign a first baseman this would allow the Cubs to have Mervis and the free agent split time between first base and DH. This also will allow Mervis to not have as much pressure on him from the get-go.

Of the targets for the Cubs, each one would more than likely make an instant impact on this Cubs' offense. We know of the track record that Abreu carried with the White Sox for his career, but what about Bell and Mancini?

Bell is a 30-year-old switch hitter who was having one of his best seasons in the majors before he was sent to the San Diego Padres mid-season. Bell batted .266 with 17 home runs. He hits pretty evenly from both sides of the plate so he would be a solid option for righties and lefties.

The Chicago Cubs are wasting no time in their search for a new first baseman.

Meanwhile, Mancini has had an overall solid career and would bring in some much-needed veteran leadership into a young Cub clubhouse. Mancini was sent to the Houston Astros mid-season where he struggled. Mancini on the season hit .239 with 18 home runs.

Obviously, the main target the Cubs seem to want this free agency is Abreu, but Mancini and Bell are not horrible fall back options.

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We should expect more rumors and reports with free agency officially opening up tomorrow, but these early reports are very promising. The Cubs front office clearly wants to upgrade at first base and if they can get a deal done early, it is an awesome look for other free agents considering the Cubs.