The 2023 Chicago Cubs should have a better WAR than last season

Seattle Mariners v Chicago Cubs
Seattle Mariners v Chicago Cubs / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

The Chicago Cubs finished last season with a record of 74-88. Saying they struggled would be considered an understatement.  However, nobody should have expected anything different considering management decided to trade away most of their stars from the 2016 World Series Championship team.

This is a new year, and the front office did improve the team. Statistically, one way to do that is to calculate how their team improves by compiling enough players who have a better WAR than the previous season. WAR (Wins Above Replacement) is the measurement of a player’s value in all facets of the game by deciphering how many more wins he’s worth than a replacement-level player in the same position.

Key Additions (Total 2022 WAR = 11.9)

Dansby Swanson 5.7, Mancini 1.4, Jameson Taillon 1.3, Cody Bellinger 1.2, Eric Hosmer 1.1, Brad Boxberger 1.1, and Tucker Barnhart 0.1

Key Subtractions (Total 2022 WAR = 2)

Willson Contreras 3.9, Alfonso Rivas 0.5, Rafael Ortega 0.3, Wade Miley 0.0, Jason Heyward -0.7, Franmil Reyes -0.9, and Frank Schwindel -1.1

Difference in WAR totals = 9.9

The Chicago Cubs' total WAR should be increased by 9.9 games. This means they will have a potential record of 83-79 in 2023. By this calculation, they may not win the division but could be in contention of sneaking into the playoffs by being a Wild Card team.

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I would like to believe the veteran leadership of the key additions will have a positive effect on this younger squad. All seven of those players brought in have postseason experience. Finally, out of those seven, four (Bellinger, Swanson, Mancini, and Hosmer) have won a World Series. It should be an interesting year to see if this roster will have a better WAR than last year.