Whether or not Cody Bellinger is back in the fold for 2024 and beyond, the Cubs need to add at least another impact bat to the mix this winter. One of the biggest areas of need revolves around the black holes at both corner infield spots - in particular, first base, which was a disaster outside of when Bellinger held down the fort this year.
The Eric Hosmer and Trey Mancini experiments quickly went down in flames, and David Ross sort of played it day-by-day and pieced things together from there. If the Cubs want to build on the improvements shown this year, though, they need a go-to option at first heading into the spring.
Cubs need to bring in Rhys Hoskins on one-year deal to fix first base
One potential solution to this problem is Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins, who missed the entire 2023 season recovering from knee surgery. He's expected to seek a one-year deal in free agency this winter to re-establish his value, similar to what Cody Bellinger - another Boras client - wanted (and got) last offseason from Jed Hoyer and the Cubs.
In his start-of-offseason predictions, The Athletic's Jim Bowden (subscription required) pegs Hoskins for a one-year, $16 million offer - a more than palatable price tag for the answer the Cubs have needed at first base for some time now.
In 2022, Hoskins hit 30 home runs for the second time in his career, and he's always been a solid on-base guy. The thought of Bellinger back with another 30-homer bat slotted in behind him is enticing, to be sure - especially on a one-year deal that poses no long-term risk.
As a member of the 2022 NL champion Phillies, Hoskins has the experience that comes with playing not only in big postseason games, but for a fervent fanbase that demands winning. That could translate well to the North Side, where fans are ready to win again after the pains that came with rebuilding in recent years.