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
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5. RHP Jameson Taillon

Unlike Suzuki, Jameson Taillon's next three years look a bit more daunting. After netting a four-year deal from the Cubs, Taillon proved to be the most untrustworthy arm in the starting rotation despite receiving the highest paycheck. I expect a lot out of Taillon in 2024 and beyond because his contract warrants at least a middle-of-the-rotation starter. To come anywhere close to that Taillon will have to shatter his Fangraphs projections, which have him turning in a lackluster 1.6 WAR.

Taillon certainly had more success in the second half of the season where he posted a 3.70 ERA over 82.2 innings pitched. But the peripheral numbers could definitely be better because Taillon still gave up 14 home runs and generated a lot of traffic on the bases. For everybody's sake Taillon needs to show improvement in 2024 and avoid his contract from looking like a disaster.

6. RHP Adbert Alzolay

Adbert Alzolay finally came into his own in 2023 and emerged as the team's closer. Although it took former manager David Ross a while to fully trust Alzolay in that role, the results speak for themselves. The 28-year-old collected 22 saves with a 2.67 ERA while averaging more than one strikeout for every inning pitched. Everything just seemed to click with Alzolay last year for the first time in his big-league career.

There are concerns considering 2023 was the only year that Alzolay wasn't mired by continuous injuries. On the other hand, it was the first year that Alzolay was a dedicated bullpen arm where he seemed to thrive. Assuming 2023 wasn't a fluke year, Alzolay should be pitching high-leverage innings until he reaches free agency.