Critical spots: 2B and CF
The Cubs lacked production at two spots in particular last year: 2B and CF. The Cubs DNA team looks at what 2020 scenarios might lie ahead.
Does it make sense for the Cubs to remain satisfied at 2B for 2020 with Hoerner, Descalso, and Russell?
Brooke: No to Russell. No to Descalso. I like Nico! I think the real question though is have we decided that Javy is the short stop for life now?
Matt: No. They need to bring in a legit bat, especially with the rumors of Castellanos not coming back. They need to go all-in on Lindor, and get Shogo for CF.
Pronk: It kind of does. Addy has no trade value at the moment, so it might be worthwhile to see if he can rebound a bit and buy a little development time for Hoerner. I think Hoerner is the real deal, but don't want to see him rushed in.
Staci: I don't think they can. They need to have a stop gap until Hoerner is fully ready. (Insert my Scooter Gennett takes here.)
Steven: The only guy of those three I like is Hoerner but I don't know if the Cubs would gamble giving him starts right away. If Zobrist does play and the Cubs can sign him, then a Zobrist Hoerner rotation at the beginning of the season intrigues me.
Tina: I'm with Steven on a Zoballs-Nico rotation. But if Zo doesn't come back, there definitely needs to be someone else until Nico is ready. I'll indulge your Scooter love, Staci.
Would you rather see Almora and Heyward timeshare CF and Thed brings in a RF (Castellanos or someone else) or acquire someone to play CF?
Brooke: They need to bring in someone to play CF. I love Heyward (as a person), I love Schwarber (as a hitter), but we need a new outfield leader to shake it up.
Matt: I want Shogo for CF. I have mixed opinions about RF. I think in the right circumstances, Heyward would be fine. I also think they need to be better than 'fine' in RF.
Pronk: I'd much rather see a decent CF be brought in externally. Problem is, there aren't any great CFs on the FA market. Alex Gordon and Adam Jones are the highlights. (Matt: Shogo, Pronk)
Staci: Heyward needs to be used where he's best--in RF, not batting lead off. Keep him where he's earned all that gold and bring in someone to play CF.
Steven: I would want someone brought in to play CF. Heyward is an excellent RF so keep him there (unless you can trade him).
Tina: Yep, we definitely need someone brought in to play CF. If we can't trade J-Hey, put him back in RF (also assuming BSN goes elsewhere).
Does Almora have any value as a starter going forward?
Brooke: Poor Almora fell from grace so fast it seems.
Matt: Not for the Cubs, no. Trade him somewhere with no pressure. Good guy, good CF'r, bat player.
Pronk: Only if he is out of the mental fog he seemed to get into after that foul ball incident in May.
Staci: Not as a starter, no. He's a defensive sub at best, and even the defensive metrics didn't love him this year. He's got to tighten it up.
Steven: I love Almora but at this point he should be a sub. I still think there is something in the bat that can make him an above average bat but that may come from a different organization.
Tina: Not for the Cubs, I'm afraid. I love him, but not as a starter. He needs to tighten up his defense and his bat isn't where it needs to be to be a starter.
In a realistic scenario, who should play 2B for the Cubs on 2020 opening day?
Matt: Javy Baez, with Lindor at SS. (that's realistic? that's a dream scenario! -- Tina)
Brooke: I have to agree with Matt, best case scenario is Javy is playing 2B cuz you got someone great to play SS! I'd be intrigued to see Starlin back though, I kinda got the impression that he didn't gel with Maddon.
Pronk: I'd love to see Howie Kendick or Brian Dozier on a 1 year 5 million dollar deal. STARLIN CASTRO is also a free agent.
Steven: Zobrist/Hoerner splitting duties.
Tina: I don't see the Cubs making any moves there, so (assuming Zo comes back), Zo.
In a realistic scenario, who should play CF for the cubs on 2020 opening day?
Pronk: Unfortunately it seems to make sense to put Heyward at CF and get another corner. Just based off the weak CF market. Shogo.
Staci: I'll go with Matt on Shogo.
Steven: There are just so many moves the Cubs can make that makes this difficult to answer. I'm gonna say whoever starts in CF doesn't finish the season there so I will go with Happ.
Tina: Shogo (if the Cubs do get him), otherwise Happ.
Brooke: <---------------That's it, that's the response. I got nothing.