No matter what the next week holds for the Chicago Cubs, there's no doubt the future is once again bright on the North Side. This offseason will be a big one for Jed Hoyer and Carter Hawkins, as they look to go from fringe playoff hopefuls to legitimate contenders.
The Cubs front office will no doubt be active on both the trade market and in free agency, but there are some guys we've grown accustomed to seeing on the field this year who might run it back with the team in 2024. Here's our rankings of Cubs pending free agents, going from least likely to return to most likely.
Ranking Cubs free agents based on likelihood of re-signing: #8 - Brad Boxberger
Brad Boxberger has been a major disappointment for the Cubs this year. Instead of teaming up with Michael Fulmer to give the team an experienced late inning tandem with a ton of experience, the veteran right-hander has missed most of the year due to injuries.
He made just 22 appearances in 2023, working to a 4.95 ERA and 5.31 FIP in 20 innings of work. Given the Cubs paid him just $2 million this year and he's on the back half of his 30s now, there's no chance the team picks up their half of a $5 million mutual option. They'll take the $800K buyout route and look elsewhere for bullpen help heading into 2024.