Sounds Like the Cubs Could Be Done Adding Offense (But I'm Not Sure They Should Be)

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Sounds Like the Cubs Could Be Done Adding Offense (But I’m Not Sure They Should Be)

Chicago Cubs

With Eric Hosmer costing nothing but the league minimum, and with spots where you could still imagine the Chicago Cubs incorporating a “bat” – if they could find one in the dramatically-thinned market – it has been fair to speculate that the Cubs would still be open to adding offense from here. Indeed, Sahadev Sharma mentioned the possibility of the Cubs still going after Trey Mancini even after signing Hosmer.

Well, we might have to squash that thought, because here’s what he wrote this week:

The Cubs have almost certainly gotten better overall. There’s still work to do, of course. With Eric Hosmer in the fold as a veteran at first base, adding someone like Trey Mancini, who was once thought to be likely headed to Chicago, no longer appears to be a priority. The focus now will turn to finding veterans to fill out the bullpen and perhaps the right bench piece.

To be sure, saying that Mancini is not a “priority” doesn’t entirely rule out a signing. But it’s clear that Sharma is indicating the Cubs won’t be spending significant resources to add another starting-caliber bat to their current group. Adding to the bullpen is fine, and adding a great bench piece is all well and good, but one more quality bat would’ve been nice.

Consider. If you had to lay the Cubs’ positional group out as a set of “starters” and then the guys on “the bench,” it might look like this:

C: Tucker Barnhart
1B: Eric Hosmer
2B: Nico Hoerner
SS: Dansby Swanson
3B: Patrick Wisdom
LF: Ian Happ
CF: Cody Bellinger
RF: Seiya Suzuki

Bench/DH: Yan Gomes, Nick Madrigal, Christopher Morel, Nelson Velazquez, Zach McKinstry, Miles Mastrobuoni – one would have to be moved out or optioned to Iowa. (Speaking of Iowa, there are also these guys who are minor league deals and will be in Spring Training: Ben DeLuzio, David Bote, Sergio Alcántara, Jared Young, and Esteban Quiroz, among others. And, of course, Matt Mervis will arrive at some point, but he’s not yet on the 40-man roster.)

Does the balance look right? Does it look like a team that can be done adding? Doesn’t it feel like a bat or an outfielder or another corner infield option is missing? I get that the Cubs weren’t realistically going to transform their lineup into a dominant group in a single offseason, and that if they are to compete this year, it is going to be more about pitching and defense. I just think one more at-least-slightly-above-average bat in the mix would be nice.

As Sharma said, the Cubs might still look to add a bench piece from here, and they’ll probably be opportunistic among the veterans who wind up having to take minor league deals late in the offseason. Seems like one of those types always figures into the roster mix by the end of Spring Training, especially since it provides the luxury of not having to take up a 40-man roster spot until the season starts.

I guess I just wanted to see the whole positional group down on paper while thinking about the reality that the Cubs might not add another notable bat from here.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.