Cubs have only 2 options when it comes to Christopher Morel

The status quo isn't a viable path forward - so Jed Hoyer and David Ross will have to choose a new direction with the exciting young infielder.

Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages

The jack-of-all-trades approach with Christopher Morel isn't a sustainable path forward with the 24-year-old sparkplug. He's not Ben Zobrist - but few men are - and that doesn't mean Chicago can't carve out an everyday role for him heading into 2024.

One of the team's most glaring needs is at the hot corner, where a mix-and-match approach was taken nearly all season long, with Miles Mastrobuoni, Nick Madrigal and Patrick Wisdom handled the bulk of duties. Working with Morel this winter to get him ready to head into the spring as the leading candidate at third base.

Cubs need Christopher Morel to seize the third base job - or he could wind up as trade bait this offseason

The issue hasn't been the bat - we all know how that's played. But defensively, Morel has left a lot to be desired, ranking at -3 OAA in 2023 at third base and failing to grade out positively at any of the four positions he played, according to Statcast. His estimated success rate at third was also the worst at any position he played and he'll have to make progress this offseason if he's to become a viable third baseman moving forward.

If he can't - and assuming the Cubs add the two big bats they need - Morel could wind up best suited as a trade chip for a team looking for help at second base. Given his youth, his skillset and the fact he's not even arbitration-eligible until 2026, Morel could end up being a key piece in a deal for said big bat or even a top-of-the-rotation arm.

With Nico Hoerner and Dansby Swanson up the middle and the likes of Madrigal and Mastrobuoni lined up behind them for depth, there's no clear path for Morel to play everyday outside of third base. At this point, it's got to be a priority for the team to get him comfortable at the hot corner and, if they can't, he could wind up being one of the most valuable assets in Jed Hoyer's pocket heading into hot stove season.