Cubs News: Jed Hoyer says third base solution still remains undetermined

Christopher Morel, Nick Madrigal and Patrick Wisdom all represent internal solutions - and Chicago is a speculative fit for recently released Giants infielder JD Davis.

Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports
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In an appearance on Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman's 'The Show' podcast, Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer covered an array of topics, including the Jameson Taillon injury, the process of re-signing Cody Bellinger, expectations for MLB newcomer Shota Imanaga and much more - including the team's third base situation.

Of course, the hope heading into the spring was that Christopher Morel, who has bounced around the diamond regularly in his young big league career, would seize the opportunity to be the everyday third baseman and run with it. But he's been unsteady defensively, which is the big concern with him at the hot corner.

Other internal options include Patrick Wisdom, who is really best suited as a platoon player or off-the-bench power bat at this point in his career, and Nick Madrigal, who is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury - something that's been an issue in the past.

Cubs are still figuring out who should play third base in 2024

Neither represent a particularly reliable solution at third and, despite his shortcomings, I still believe Morel should be the starter at the position come Opening Day given the tremendous upside his bat brings. But according to Hoyer, nothing has been decided just yet, with the team's regular season opener less than two weeks away.

"Candidly, I think that that's going to be, probably of all the positions on the field, the one that has the least certainty, said Hoyer. "... That's the one area I think is a little bit unclear so far and we have a couple more weeks to figure that out ..."

Rising infield prospect Matt Shaw turned heads in Cactus League action this spring and could be a long-term solution at third, but has faced questions over his arm strength holding up at that position. The bat, as is the case with Morel, will certainly play though, no matter what position he eventually settles into.

Hoyer poured cold water on hopes for any sort of major last-minute addition, but recently-released Giants infielder JD Davis could be an answer for the Cubs in 2024 should the front office look for an external solution. Personally, I still believe Morel opens the year at third, but Craig Counsell and the Cubs brass will be keeping a close eye on his glovework and won't hesitate should it prove to be a major liability.

For now, though, Chicago hasn't settled on a plan. So expect plenty of talk surrounding third base in the closing weeks of spring training as it represents one of the Cubs' only real positional battles outside of the final bench spots with a roster that's largely set already.