The Cubs have several key players reaching free agency at the same time

There are currently eight Chicago Cubs players scheduled to reach free agency after the 2026 season

Washington Nationals v Chicago Cubs
Washington Nationals v Chicago Cubs / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages
2 of 5

2. 2B Nico Hoerner

Nico Hoerner is clearly one of the cornerstones of this Cubs team and like Happ, he signed a three-year extension last offseason to stay in Chicago through 2026. Hoerner is not a big home run threat, but he hits for contact (.283 in 2023), plays gold glove defense, and became the first Cub in a decade to steal 30+ bases in a season. He was arguably one of the best second basemen in baseball last year and he's become a fan-favorite amongst the Cubs fandom.

Hoerner will be only 29 when his contract expires, so if he continues to play like he did the last two seasons, it would be great to see him play in Chicago even longer. Aside from his speed and leadoff abilities, Hoerner's defense alongside Dansby Swanson was a delight to watch and his presence up the middle gives the Cubs one of the best defensive duos in baseball.

3. 3B/1B Patrick Wisdom

Infielder Patrick Wisdom was one of the few bright spots on this team immediately after the infamous 2021 trade deadline, where the World Series core of Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Javier Baez were moved. But after a gradual injection of talent onto the 40-man roster, Wisdom looks more like an odd man out given his lack of consistent production. Although he hit 23 home runs last year, 11 of them came in the first month of the season and he wound up hitting just .205 in 268 at-bats.

The team gave Wisdom a $2.7 million contract last month to avoid arbitration but this is honestly a bit much for a guy who collected less than 300 at-bats. Although the team needs a third baseman, Wisdom is not the long-term answer and I'd like to see the team flip him at the trade deadline. With other third base options like Nick Madrigal, Christopher Morel, and potentially Matt Shaw, it's only a matter of time before Wisdom will have next to no playing time on the Cubs. Since he will be 33 this year, trading Wisdom to a team where he will get more playing time just makes sense at this point and the Cubs could get some value in return before his arbitration numbers get even higher.