Roster Talk: Cubs depth cart breakdown
David Banks - USA Today Sports

Roster Talk: Cubs depth cart breakdown

by - Staff Writer -

While big-name free agents Blake Snell, Matt Chapman, Jordan Montgomery, and JD Martinez remain on the open market — all of whom would be welcome additions to the Cubs — the organization appears to be set on the current construction of the roster as Spring Training games are set to continue this week.

While some roster questions still need to be answered, the Cubs have a solid outline of their depth chart, barring injury, as the season approaches.

There are a few positions based upon contracts and big league status the Cubs have solidified for 2024 and likely beyond.

This core of players includes:

LF Ian Happ

RF Seiya Suzuki

C Yan Gomes / Miguel Amaya

2B Nico Hoerner

SS Dansby Swanson

At this point in the Cubs’ “rebuild”, these five positions are under wraps. As this offseason began, the four positions with question marks included third base, first base, center field, and designated hitter.

Re-signing Cody Bellinger goes a long way to the roster construction. Over the weekend, reports came out in the wee hours of Sunday morning that the Cubs had inked Bellinger to a three-year, 80-million-dollar contract with opt-outs after the first two seasons. So, Bellinger factors into the first base and center field picture immediately. While it is unknown where the Cubs will prefer Bellinger with this roster, we will list him as the starter at each position. We understand he can not start at both positions on the same day, but he is the Cubs’ best option at either.

3B Christopher Morel, Nick Madrigal, Patrick Wisdom

1B Cody Bellinger, Michael Busch, Patrick Wisdom, Matt Mervis

CF Cody Bellinger, Mike Tauchman, Pete Crow-Armstrong, Alexander Canario

DH Alexander Canario, Patrick Wisdom, Nick Madrigal, Matt Mervis

This doesn’t include Dom Smith, David Peralta, and Garrett Cooper. The Cubs have reportedly signed all of these veterans over the past week.

Peralta is a past gold glover and, over his 10-year career, has fit the mold of a fourth outfielder, especially lately. He is good against right-handed pitching and joins the likes of Tauchman and Crow-Armstrong as left-handed hitting outfielders. He drove in 55 runs and hit .259 in 394 at-bats in 2023.

Dom Smith has been on the Cubs’ radar for a while. He’s primarily a first baseman with good bat-to-ball skills. However, his average has fluctuated dramatically in his career, and he has struggled to stay healthy / cement himself as a starter. He will likely factor into a competitive first base / DH race.

Cooper has bounced around a bit in his six years as a pro. An All-Star back in Miami, the 33-year-old was known to be looking for a team that could offer him playing time in 2024, and he settled with Chicago. Many around the industry believe that since the first base room is so crowded, a potential trade may be coming soon. As it stands, Cooper joins Smith in what already is a daunting competition. Cooper is coming off his best season, hitting 17 homers and driving in 61 runs on both the Marlins and Padres.

All three have received a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training and join position groups that are already pretty clogged. It is unknown exactly where these three veterans will factor in, but it will be something to monitor as Cactus League play continues.

Our depth chart also does not include the likes of Brennen Davis, Kevin Alcantara, Matt Shaw, or Owen Cassie — prospects who feel likely to start the season in the minor leagues due to age, position block, or otherwise.

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