3 Moves the Cubs Should Make Before the MLB Season Starts

Jason Schandl
Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant celebrate in a game against the Padres.
Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant celebrate in a game against the Padres. / Denis Poroy/Getty Images

After finishing third in the NL Central with an 84-win regular season in 2019, the Chicago Cubs can't afford to be complacent as Opening Day approaches for the 2020 season.

If they want to bounce back to the 95-win form that earned them their last playoff berth in 2018 or to contend with the St. Louis Cardinals to win the NL Central, the Cubs need to continue improving.

With that in mind, here are three moves the Cubs should make before the beginning of the MLB season.

1. Sign Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig in the dugout against the Angels.
Yasiel Puig in the dugout against the Angels. / Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

One of the biggest names left on the free agent market, Yasiel Puig has plenty to offer any team. With the Nicholas Castellanos rental period over, the Cubs could keep Jason Heyward in center field if they add Puig in right. The 29-year-old Puig is coming off a bit of a down year, with his 1.2 WAR being his lowest since 2016, but he's still hit at least .260 with 23-plus homers and 15-plus steals in each of the last three seasons. His upside is undeniable.

2. Bring in Another Starting Pitcher

Tyler Chatwood on the bench against the Indians.
Tyler Chatwood on the bench against the Indians. / Jon Durr/Getty Images

The Cubs' starters ranked 10th as a unit in ERA in 2019, but losing Cole Hamels (3.81 ERA across 27 starts) is going to hurt. They added Jharel Cotton, but it's hard to put too much faith in someone that hasn't pitched a major league game since September 2017 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Tyler Chatwood may fill the void, but he posted an egregious 5.30 ERA in his last season as a full-time starter. There aren't a ton of exciting free agents left, but someone like Jeremy Hellickson (3.45 ERA in 19 starts in 2018 before injuries limited him to 39 innings in 2019) could be an intriguing option. Not needing someone at the top of the rotation, the Cubs could also pursue a trade for some reasonably-priced pitching depth.

3. Shore Up Second Base

David Bote in the field against the Reds.
David Bote in the field against the Reds. / Joe Robbins/Getty Images

With Ben Zobrist out of town, the Cubs are left without a true starter at second. David Bote has shown some potential to take the spot, but there are still also plenty of viable free agent options. Brian Dozier has lost a step but bounced back with a serviceable .329 wOBA in 2019, Brock Holt posted a wRC+ of 103 in 2019 and 109 in 2018, and while Derek Dietrich was below the Mendoza line, he did swat a career-best 19 homers last year. The position could also be addressed through a trade, as the Cubs have been rumored to be pursuing Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, but this is clearly a position of need for Chicago.

Join FanDuel Sportsbook Today. New users get a risk-free bet up to $500. Join Now.

Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. 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.