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The latest base plans for the Cubs

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The average hitting streak for first basemen in 2022 was .246/.320/.410, wRC+ of 107. For the Cubs, they used different cold corner players for a combined slash of .232/.304/.348, wRC+ Of 86, that last stat is the 24th of 30 MLB teams. Given this disparity, the Cubs will no doubt be looking for better production in 2023. They may have an internal solution in Matt Mervis, although they will also look for overseas upgrades this winter. “It’s a big part of our plans,” said Jed Hoyer, Cubs’ president of baseball operations, of Murvis. Sahdev Sharma and Patrick Mooney of The Athletic. “But I think we will also be active in exploring alternatives.”

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Mervis really exploded on the scene in 2022. As noted in the article linked above, he was not drafted in 2019 or 2020, and eventually signed with the Cubs as an undrafted free agent. He played 72 minor league games in 2021, hitting below average.

However, 2022 was an entirely different story. He started the season in High-A and mashed right up, hitting streak. Triple-A, his streak was .297/.383/.593, 152 wRC+. Incredibly, his walk rate improved from 4.6% to 8.7% to 10.4% while climbing the ladder, while his strike rate decreased from 24.1% to 20% to 14.6%. The Cubs decided to keep the good times going by sending him to the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .262/.324/.590 in 17 games.

It’s not just the bat that gets the Cubs excited. “He’s more athletic than people think,” said Jared Banner, vice president of player development for the Cubs. “He knows his way around the bag at first base. He’s a big, nice target, and he actually scales well defensively. No worries there.”

Despite this tremendous breakout season, it stands to reason that the Cubs wouldn’t simply want to hand the starting job over to Murvis based on that. “We’re thrilled with what he’s doing,” said Hoyer. “We know it’s a big part of what we’re headed for. But at the same time, we have to be aware that there is real depth involved. Injuries and other things happen.”

With Mervis seemingly poised to hit the majors but not an immediate guarantee of success, the club will likely be looking for a short-term addition to first base. That way, if Mirvis continues to move forward, he won’t be prevented from securing the full-time job. The Cubs don’t really have a player tied into the designated hitter mix, so it’s possible that Murphys could co-exist on the roster with someone who would require a long-term deal like, say, Josh Bell. However, teams generally do not like clogging up the DH spot and prefer to rotate players through it. This is especially true for a team like the Cubs that are still trying to give strikes to younger players and assess their potential against major league stadiums. However, with no true first-out lockout or DH, the Cubs are one of the best-suited teams to fit a first bat in their lineup.

It was the MLBTR’s Top 50 Josh Bell As the best baseman available, expect a four-year contract and $64 million, or $16 million a year. but, Jose Abreu She was already tied for a higher contract in terms of average annual value: $40 million over two years. Abreu has a longer and more impressive track record, but he’s five years older than Bill, hence the disparity. The White Sox seemed willing to let Abreu walk and replace him Andrew Vaughn At first, it was the Cubs mentioned Have an interest in facilitating crosstown traffic. Brandon Drury He would be a reasonable fit, if the Cubs were content to move him to second or third base in the event that Mirvis took over at first.

If the Cubs opt for a short-term solution, they would include players who would likely be on one-year deals Brandon beltAnd the Matt CarpenterAnd the Trey ManciniAnd the Yuli Gurel or Will Myers. There is also the commercial market, which can feature bats like Naughty Tellez or Eric Hosmer. Tellez still has two seasons left of refereeing monitoring and is expected to earn a salary of $5.3 million this year by MLBTR contributor Matt Schwartz. Hosmer still had three years remaining on his deal, but the Padres agreed to pay all but the league minimum when traded to the Red Sox.

There are many different options available to the club and how they progress will depend on how much they believe in Mervis and how much they want to spend. Last year, the Cubs offered a full package of one-year deals to the veterans, with siya suzukifive years and Marcus StrowmanThree years (with opt-out after two years) The only multi-year deals.

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