Cubs: 'Big blocks' are in place, but Jed Hoyer says more moves to come

Chicago Cubs Introduce Dansby Swanson
Chicago Cubs Introduce Dansby Swanson / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

At surface level, Cubs president Jed Hoyer saying the team's 'big blocks' are in place might rub some folks the wrong way. But if you look at what's left on the free agent market, most of the guys you'd consider to be 'big blocks' have already inked deals, with a few exceptions in there.

Chicago's marquee offseason addition, Dansby Swanson, was introduced at Wrigley Field on Wednesday after inking a seven-year, $177 deal with the team earlier this week. He joins former NL Rookie of the Year and MVP Cody Bellinger and right-hander Jameson Taillon as the team's big pickups this winter - but that doesn't mean the roster is set, either.

Cubs have their big additions; will now focus on supplementary pieces

In a Thursday morning appearance on 670 WSCR (shoutout to Bleacher Nation for the brief summary of highlights, Hoyer sent a pretty clear message that major additions are likely wrapped up, but the Cubs are focused on adding another starting pitcher (likely Drew Smyly) and a catcher. Clearly, the team isn't content rolling with Yan Gomes and PJ Higgins behind the plate and, reports suggest they're close to a deal with former Gold Glover Tucker Barnhart.

Smyly was quietly a nice piece for the Cubs in 2022 and would provide a needed insurance option in the rotation picture heading into next year. Kyle Hendricks remains a total question mark after an injury-shortened campaign and adding a veteran like Smyly alongside the crop of young arms slotted in behind Marcus Stroman, Justin Steele and Taillon would be a nice get for the front office.

Thte 'big block' the Cubs could still add is free agent outfielder Michael Conforto who checks so many boxes for this team. He'd help balance out a lineup that Hoyer himself admits is too right-handed heavy and is reportedly seeking a short-term deal to re-establish his value before hitting the open market again

Trey Mancini has been linked to Chicago regularly this offseason but, although he gives you an insurance option at first base behind Matt Mervis, he's a right-handed hitter and doesn't help you add that sought-after balance. If the Cubs went with Conforto, you can have Bellinger come in and play first when Conforto is in the outfield and DH him regularly to keep him fresh.

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Mancini and Conforto will be the two guys to watch here as 2022 draws to a close and we turn the calendar over to a new year. Like Hoyer said: the 'big blocks' are in place. Now, it's about adding those supplementary pieces that round out the roster heading into spring training.