Winning a World Series requires a lot of stars to align at the exact right time. That being said, some teams are more well-equipped than others to align those stars because their roster is loaded with… well… stars.
As we head into the 2024 season, the Cubs don’t appear to have those stars on their roster just yet, based on the projections shown by MLB.com.
In fact, the Cubs are in a tie for 24th in the league in terms of the highest projected WAR for one of their players. They’re tied with the Marlins and Reds at 3.3 WAR with the Pirates (3.0), Nationals (2.9), Athletics (2.4), and Rockies (2.0) rounding out the list.
Only the Marlins from that list made the playoffs in 2023 and they were immediately ousted by the Phillies 2-0.
Two teams, the Braves (7.4) and Yankees (6.7) have a player who is projected at more than twice the WAR of the Cubs' highest player (which was a tie between Justin Steele and Nico Hoerner).
So what does that mean? Does that mean that the Cubs can’t win the World Series due to a lack of projected star power?
It means that this season will have to be a team effort and we have the best manager in baseball at taking a roster that lacks star power and turning it into a playoff team.
In order for this team to make a run, or even make the playoffs, we’ll need for Pete Crow-Armstrong and Michael Busch to not look like rookies early on this season.
Dansby Swanson and Nico Hoerner are going to need to continue to be a Gold Glove-caliber double-play combination.
Justin Steele, Kyle Hendricks, and Jordan Wicks are going to need to prove that their performances last season weren’t a fluke and Jameson Taillon is going to need to prove that his performance was.
Beyond that, the Cubs are still allegedly sniffing around free agent stars Cody Bellinger and Matt Chapman and have the potential to find a star or two in the trade market at the trade deadline as well.
We’ve written about how the Cubs farm system is balanced, and about how their projected starting rotation going into the season really isn’t, but the most important thing as 2024 begins is that the 3.3 WAR that is projected for Steele and Hoerner is a WAR that the rest of the team can hover around as well.
That is the only way this team is going to raise a flag at the end of the year is if we can put together a team effort that outweighs the lack of star power on this roster.