The Chicago Cubs 2021 season is always going to be remembered for the fire sale put on at the MLB trade deadline. Manager David Ross' team ended up with a 71-91 record, which was the franchise's worst mark since 2013. Getting back to dominating the NL Central is going to take some work.
With the season set to get underway in under a month, time is running out for the Cubs to address a few major roster needs. Opening Day is going to be here in no time, so here's a look at three moves Chicago needs to make before the start of the 2022 season.
Cubs Offseason Moves
1. Sign Trevor Rosenthal as the Closer
The biggest thing missing on the Cubs roster right now is a reliever capable of taking on the closer role. Projected setup men Keegan Thompson and Codi Heuer are considered the best options at this point, which is not promising. A couple of established veterans remain unsigned and Trevor Rosenthal sticks out among the candidates. Yes, the 31-year-old has not pitched in the majors since 2020 due to a torn hip labrum. However, Rosenthal does have 132 saves to his name over the course of a successful eight-year career. If he can return to the form he showed prior to his injury, this signing would become a massive steal.
2. Bring in a Veteran Starting Pitcher
The Cubs made sure to address a weakened starting rotation by signing starters Marcus Stroman and Wade Miley in free agency. They join Kyle Hendricks in what is a solid top three, but the lack of depth behind that group has to be concerning. Alec Mills finished the 2021 season with a 5.07 ERA and Justin Steele has only ever started nine MLB games. Bringing in one more established pitcher wouldn't be a bad idea here. Names like Michael Pineda, Matthew Boyd and Tyler Anderson would all be suitable additions. After all, the Cubs posted the league's fourth-worst ERA mark in 2021 (4.87).
3. Let Nick Madrigal Loose at Second Base
Giving the fan base something to be excited about should be the Cubs' top goal in a season where making the playoffs seems unrealistic. Chicago really has nothing to lose going into this year and should let Nick Madrigal loose at second base as a result. Give the 25-year-old an opportunity to showcase his skills in an everyday role. The former White Sox prospect has slashed .317/.358/.406 across 83 career games. His ability to make contact is top notch, which could have him taking over the leadoff spot sooner than expected. When it comes down to it, Madrigal's development will be key to any hopes the Cubs have in turning it all around.
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.