The Duel

The Cubs Should Steal This Upcoming Free Agent Away From the Cardinals After the 2020 Season

Tristan Jung
The Cubs should consider signing Brad Miller after the 2020 season.
The Cubs should consider signing Brad Miller after the 2020 season. / Michael Reaves/Getty Images

With the Chicago Cubs missing the playoffs for a second consecutive year, the balance of power in the NL Central has shifted. The Cubs' bitter rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals, are ascendant, and the Cubs must find ways to improve long-term while fending off the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers.

One way to make an impact would be to sign away infielder Brad Miller from the Cardinals. The Cardinals signed Miller for depth purposes, but he had an impressive half-season in 2019 and has shown signs of being an above-average infielder. His .894 OPS and 126 wRC+ in 79 games are very respectable numbers.

Moreover, the Cubs are in desperate need of a second baseman, as they currently are likely to go with Jason Kipnis, who had an OPS of .710 last year and has had issues staying healthy. Kipnis is on a one-year deal, and it's unlikely that he will ever reach his peak numbers from 2015-16 again. Without a long-term solution at second base in the farm system and an unwillingness to spend, the Cubs are in need of a short-term upgrade.

While the last time the Cubs tried this strategy resulted in the unappealing Jason Heyward contract, that doesn't mean it can't work. Losing Brad Miller wouldn't really hurt the Cardinals like the Heyward deal, but it would mean a big improvement for the Cubs.

Miller's ability to play second base and fill in at shortstop for Javier Baez is also critical for the Cubs, who currently only have Daniel Descalso as a backup infielder. While his hitting has been inconsistent, Miller's defensive ability has always been present.

Signing Brad Miller may not be a blockbuster move, but the Cubs are in need of infielders. The Cardinals' other free agents, Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright and Matt Wieters, are not going to sign in Chicago, so Miller is the best candidate to be acquired.

With the NL Central race as competitive as ever and the Cubs in dire need to maximize their competitive window, a low-cost deal for Miller could be the way to go. Regardless, Theo Epstein and the Cubs' front office will face huge pressure to address second base in the offseason, as fans continue to be frustrated by their recent lack of spending.

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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. 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.