The calendar has flipped to February and Chicago Cubs pitchers and catchers are reporting to Spring Training in two weeks.
The problem, for the Cubs, is that there is still heavy lifting to be done this off-season.
While there is reason to believe that Michael Busch should be able to provide an answer to the team's long-term need at first base this season, he still is an unproven commodity. There is an expectation that the Cubs will make the post-season in 2024 but their current roster proves that goal to be lofty.
The Cubs certainly need one major addition to their lineup but in a perfect world, there would be two. For now, the focus remains on Cody Bellinger.
The Cubs remain the overwhelming favorite to sign Bellinger. USA Today's MLB staff recently made their predictions for the rest of the Major League Baseball off-season and they all predicted that Bellinger will be returning to the Cubs.
MLB Spring Training is two weeks away and the Chicago Cubs remain the favorites to sign Cody Bellinger.
We're also at the point of the off-season where we should begin to debunk some myths about where things stand with the Cubs and Bellinger.
The Cubs do not need to have Bellinger on their roster by the start of Spring Training. Sure, any team would love to have their roster set by the time that Spring Training begins but it's not a hard deadline. If anything, the start of Spring Training will likely serve as the beginning of Scott Boras being willing to move off his asking price, still believed to be north of $200MM.
If the asking price remains $200MM, the Cubs will not be signing Bellinger. For as great as Bellinger was for the Cubs in 2023, his advanced metrics would suggest a regression is near. For the Cubs, that fear of regression could lead to them turning to Matt Chapman as an alternative and giving Pete Crow-Armstrong an extended runway to thrive at the Major League level at the start of the season.