Ranking the top 5 Cubs offseason moves

Chicago Cubs Introduce Dansby Swanson
Chicago Cubs Introduce Dansby Swanson / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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With less than a month until pitchers and catchers report to Mesa, the Cubs roster is just about set - with the likely exception of a veteran left-handed reliever to round out the bullpen mix.

Jed Hoyer and Carter Hawkins have been busy this winter, reshaping a roster that won just 74 games last season, but finished with an unexpectedly strong second half in which they went 39-31, thanks to consistently strong pitching. As we gear up for spring training and the 2023 season, let's take a look back at Chicago's offseason moves and try to rank the top 5.

Ranking the top 5 Cubs offseason moves: #5 - Trey Mancini/Eric Hosmer

Get your pitchforks out, folks. I'm ready. I doubt many of you will come after me for liking the Trey Mancini signing because he checked one of the last major holes the team has, at least on paper, adding some pop to the order with some decent defensive versatility, as well. A two-year, $14 million deal with an opt-out after the first season if he hits 350 PAs, there's not much risk associated with the signing, which carries another $7 million in potential bonus money, too.

Following his trade to Houston last summer, the former AL Comeback Player of the Year fell off a cliff statistically speaking, slashing just .176/.258/.364 down the stretch with the World Series champions, but still put up a 101 OPS+ on the year thanks to a strong start with Baltimore. Still, there's plenty to like heading into 2023. He carried a 40.5 percent hard hit rate, nearly two full percentage points higher than league average) and his swing should play well at Wrigley.

As for Eric Hosmer, let me start by saying this. There's no risk in picking up a guy like this on a league minimum salary. Did he live up to the eight-year, $144 million contract the Padres gave him? Absolutely not. But he's been an above-average offensive player in all but two of the last 10 years and is a four-time Gold Glover.

Combined, Mancini and Hosmer give Chicago a pair of insurance policies as they continue to evaluate last year's breakout prospect Matt Mervis, who seems likely to open the year with Triple-A Iowa after scorching MiLB pitching across multiple levels in 2023. If he proves last season was no fluke, having these two veterans on short-term pacts does nothing to block his ascent in any way.