The Cubs are having a sneaky little offseason. Are they assembling a contender?
Well hello there. World Series Champion Trey Mancini is making his way to Chicago. Nice little pickup for the Cubs! All offseason long, Jed Hoyer and Carter Hawkins have been making some intriguing deals. They added some "big names", a shortstop for the future, and a former MVP. Is something brewing in the Windy City?
Dansby Swanson was their big fish, spending $177,000,000 for 7 years. They added Coy Bellinger to be their everyday centerfielder on a prove it deal, bolstered their rotation with Jameson Taillon while re-signing Smyly. They added role players and depth with Eric Hosmer and Tucker Barnhart, and now they get a solid lefty vet in Mancini. Honestly all-in-all, I like the moves, but is it enough?
Looking at the NL Central, it's still the Cardinals division to lose, and they only gotten stronger. The Cubs helped them out in this avenue. Instead of extending their 3x All-Star catcher or trading him for a kings ransom at the deadline, they let Wilson Contreras walk right to their rival.
The Brewers will be gritty, The Reds are still a bit away, and the Pirates made some eye popping yet head scratchers as well (McCutchen, Ji Man Choi, Rich Hill, Austin Hedges, Carlos Santana).
I think their ceiling is is a wild card but you have to at least give a tip of the cap to Chicago. Their roster is filled with storylines and likeable players. Will Belli get back to MVP form? Can Taillon continue his growth? Can Chicago get back to the promise land? Just imagine if they kept their core and didn't implode...
PHOTO: Armando L. Sanchez, Chicago Tribune