Christopher Morel to play first base as Chicago Cubs look for his true position

Christopher Morel's best position is second base but Gold Glover Nico Noerner is an anchor at the position but the Chicago Cubs have an idea for Morel.
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Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages

Despite a solid showing at second base in 2023, Christopher Morel is giving another position a try. At the General Manager Meetings in Arizona, Chicago Cubs' President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer said Morel is playing first base in winter ball.

Debuting in 2022, the 24-year-old has been at the center of trade discussions since 2023's conclusion. Morel was placed in different positions throughout last season. He settled in as the designated hitter following stops at third base and the outfield. Morel became the first Cub in franchise history to smack 9 home runs in 12 games of a season.

Morel has never appeared in a game at first base at any level of pro ball, but the Cubs are hoping that he might take well to the position and be an option for them there in 2024.

According to Morel, he is reportedly set to join Águilas Cibaeñas at some point during the Dominican Winter League season, and could play upwards of a month there.

Morel's appearance at first base speaks volumes. His former club trusts his potential enough to put his feet to the fire. The DWL is not just practice, the games are actual, competitive, championship leagues in each of these countries, and the games are exceptionally meaningful. They are played to win, regardless of what’s best for some other organization or a player’s development. So, while the Cubs may have the propensity to suggest giving him a shot at first base if that’s not what is best for Águilas, then changes will ultimately be made.

As more experience is gained, trade suitors may develop a notion that Chicago is not necessarily ready to part ways with Morel. Although the announcement was made, this doesn't indicate Morel's permanent home will be at a corner infield position.

However, Morel is viewed as a blue-chip trade piece at second base. His age and current contract (through 2028) enable the Cubs' leverage in trade talks. All in all, we are still early into the offseason and there are plenty of potential moves which can be made. There is no reason to put the horse before the carriage. Morel deserves an opportunity in order to see if the first base shoe fits before any permanent decisions on his future in Chicago are made.

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