Justin Turner's free agency decision looms as Cubs still have a need at third base

Justin Turner could be the answer at third base for the Chicago Cubs, providing a stopgap until prospect Matt Shaw is ready. Find out more about the Cubs' offseason plans.

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The Chicago Cubs still have holes in their lineup as the team has multiple needs across their starting lineup with third base being one of the bigger question marks.

The Cubs didn't have a solidified solution at third base last season and while Nick Madrigal was better defensively than anyone could have anticipated, his offensive profile was still filled with the same inconsistencies that have plagued his Cubs' career.

Madrigal can not be depended on as the answer at third base to begin the 2024 season and that could be the reason why Justin Turner has been speculated to be a Cubs' target this off-season.

The Cubs have loosely been connected to Turner throughout the off-season but Jon Morosi was more direct in his reporting on Monday.

With 2023 first-round selection Matt Shaw expected to be on the fast track to the Major League level, likely at the third base position. that likely is the largest reason why the Cubs have not jumped the market for a free agent such as Matt Chapman.

Turner would be an ideal target for the Cubs in the sense that he would not block Shaw. While his defense at third base is far from ideal, Turner could be a stopgap for the Cubs at third base until Shaw is ready. By that time, Turner could serve as a situational DH or even see some time at first base depending on the progress of Michael Busch.

Even at the age of 39, Turner has proven to still be a capable offensive player. Turner registered a 114 wRC+ with the Boston Red Sox last season while slashing .276/.345/.455 with 23 home runs.

While Turner shouldn't be viewed as the main offensive addition that the Cubs make to their lineup this off-season, in a scenario where Cody Bellinger is also brought back, it would have the making of improvement from where the team's offense was last season.

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