The Chicago Cubs have had a clear hole at their first base position since trading Anthony Rizzo at the 2021 Major League Baseball trade deadline and with the team expected to be active in free agency this offseason, it seems likely that the team will look for a fix at the position.
Rizzo is a free agent this winter but with a qualifying offer attached to his status, it seems unlikely that the Cubs would be willing to part with draft pick compensation in order to form a reunion with their former first baseman.
The Cubs will reportedly make a strong effort to sign free agent first baseman Jose Abreu once free agency beginning in earnest on Thursday and there is a clear fit between the two sides. However, if Abreu chooses to sign elsewhere, the Cubs will be forced to look for a fallback option.
One option that the Cubs should consider is Trey Mancini. Mancini officially became a free agent Wednesday after opting out his deal with the Houston Astros.
Mancini struggled considerably after being acquired by the Houston Astros at the 2022 Major League Baseball trade deadline. In 186 plate appearances with the Astros, Mancini had a slash line of .176/.258/.364/.622 to go along with a 77 wRC+.
Mancini's struggles with the Astros were a steep decline from his career averages of .265/.330/.457/.787 and 111 wRC+.
Trey Mancini is an interesting name for the Chicago Cubs to monitor.
Given the struggles that Mancini had in the second half of the season with the Astros, chances are the 29-year-old will be looking for a short-term deal this offseason in an attempt to restock his value. That is where the Cubs come into play in the event that they are unable to land a higher priority free agency such as Abreu.
The Cubs are in a unique position this offseason in regard to addressing the first base position. The Cubs do not need to find a long-term fix at the position as they have a prospect, Matt Mervis, on the cusp of being Major League ready and Patrick Wisdom has proven to be capable of playing first base. While Wisdom has proven to be a perennial 25+ home-run player at the Major League level, there is no question that the Cubs need overall offensive consistency. Mancini, assuming he returns to his career norms, would provide that consistency while also not blocking Mervis from reaching the Major League level.