Since today is the “observed” New Year’s Day holiday, it makes sense that a couple bits of New Year’s Resolution content dropped for MLB’s 30 teams. As is usually the case with this kind of stuff, I don’t know if it is suffused with a ton of MEANING, but when you get the national/third party perspective on the Cubs, I just find it interesting to see what they’ve got to say.
For example, Andy McCullough’s resolution for the Cubs at The Athletic is one that I think will resonate with most Cubs fans:
Chicago Cubs (74-88): Don’t stop with Dansby.
The Cubs signaled a return to the free-agent market with a $177 million contract for shortstop Dansby Swanson. It’s a good start. Swanson is a good player who can bring leadership, professionalism and experience to the franchise’s youthful clubhouse. But he is only one player. So as the Cubs plot a return to the playoffs, the ownership group will need to prepare to open its wallet once more next offseason. You know who would look nice beside Swanson on the left side of the infield at Wrigley Field? Manny Machado.
The Cubs will need internal developments if they’re going to compete soon and at a high level, but, yeah, the spending can’t stop this offseason. We know that next offseason’s free agent class might be thin, but it COULD include some tip-top big bat free agents like Machado, Rafael Devers, Shohei Ohtani, and Jung-hoo Lee. The Cubs should have significant money still available to spend come next offseason, be it on those free agents, on impact pitching, or on trade/extension opportunities.
So, yes. Be it resolved that the Cubs will just keep adding good players in 2023. I’m on board.
Over at Baseball America, they take on farm system resolutions, and the Cubs’ one is pretty darn fair, even if unexciting:
2023 Resolution: Get healthy
Brennen Davis and Miguel Amaya’s injuries in 2022 meant two of the team’s best position prospects enter 2023 no closer to the majors than they were at the end of 2021. Getting full seasons out of both of them are crucial for the Cubs’ rebuild. Getting Alexander Canario back to health after a serious winter ball injury (fractured ankle and dislocated shoulder) would be an additional bonus.
Really, the health stuff is what you would call the worst part of the Cubs’ 2022 season on the farm, so it’s naturally something you’d want to see play out much better in 2023. Not sure it’s something the Cubs can accomplish through sheer will, like a true New Year’s Resolution, but if they have the same kinds of steps forward developmentally in 2023 that they had in 2022? Then, yeah, health is really the only thing you would want to add as a pleeeease do that, too.
I will want to see the Cubs’ pitching development continue to bear fruit in 2023 (I think it will), and I also really hope they have a couple BIG-TIME offensive breakouts, that give them multiple true impact-type positional talents in the system. I could name check all the guys who COULD emerge as those types in 2023, because there are a ton of them, but we haven’t really seen it happen too often lately. Pete Crow-Armstrong is the most recent, and also probably the biggest breakout for a Cubs positional prospect since the days of The Core. I want to see several of those guys by this time next year.
How about I add one of my own for the Cubs? Resolved: the Chicago Cubs will NOT sell at the 2023 Trade Deadline. A good season will have the Cubs in position to buy at the deadline this year, while trying to stay afloat in the NL Central race in August and September. I can see it happening. Is it more likely than not? Eh. I don’t know. But hope is real on January 1/2.