Now they need to make some deals to bury the Milwaukee Brewers and the Cincinnati Reds.
While these suggestions may seem like “well duh” moves, the Chicago Cubs have acted more like their small market brethren than the No. 3 market club that they are.
That has allowed the Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals to control the division the past couple of seasons.
It is time to flex some financial muscle.
Owner Tom Ricketts should not spend recklessly like the New York Mets or the San Diego Padres. He should authorize team president Jed Hoyer to make these moves because it can help put some serious distance in terms of talent between the rest of the division.
Sign Shohei Ohtani.
This is a no-brainer. He is a generational talent and a box office draw. It would be a sight to see Ohtani crushing home runs at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs are rumored to be a serious contender along with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Being two time zones away from the Pacific will no longer be a problem for the Chicago Cubs.
He can bolster the rotation in 2025 after he recovers from Tommy John surgery. His UCL injury will not prevent him from being the best hitter in the game in 2024.
Win the Youshinbou Yamamoto sweepstakes.
He is considered the second-best free agent on the market and Yamamoto has never pitched in the big leagues. The 25-year-old has been posted and practically every contender will be vying for his services.
His stuff is so good that many scouts expect him to be an ace.
Imagine a starting rotation being headlined by Justin Steele and Yamamoto. Then in 2025, you can add Ohtani.
Re-sign Cody Bellinger.
Bellinger reclaimed his value with a slash line of .307/.356/.524. He belted 26 home runs and had a wRC+ of 134.
He finished as a 4.1 fWAR player.
The Chicago Cubs should not let a talented player like Bellinger walk while he is in his prime. Especially a player who has an MVP in his trophy case.
Trade for Pete Alonso if Bellinger leaves in free agency.
Bellinger should not sell himself short, so if he gets a better offer from another team, the Cubs need to try to trade for Alonso.
Matt Mervis still has some promise, but you do not pull off a move like hiring Counsell and hope for him to develop.
The time to strike is now. The Cubs need power.
Alonso smacked 46 home runs last season and 192 in five seasons. This move is also getting a player who is still in his prime years.
A trade package could be built around Christopher Morel. Alonso might not be available in the offseason trade market, but he might be on the market come the trade deadline since he is set to be a free agent after the 2024 season.
Upgrade third base by signing Matt Chapman.
The Chicago Cubs are still high on Nick Madrigal. They need power out of their third baseman. Nicky Two Strikes is never going to be known for his ability to slug.
Enter Matt Chapman, the best available free agent at the position.
He only hit 17 dingers last season, but he still had a decent .424 slugging percentage. It is not like Chapman does not have a big bat.
He smashed 27 home runs in 2021 and 2022.
Chapman also has a solid glove that fits into the Cubs’ run-prevention emphasis on defense. The only problem is Chapman will turn 31 during the season.
Get Josh Hader.
Adbert Alzolay turned out to be a dependable closer. The Chicago Cubs need to get as many dominant arms in the bullpen as they can get.
Hader can pitch multiple late innings. Now that he is getting paid, he may choose to do that again.
He also closed for Counsell when they were together in Milwaukee.
Having two pitchers who can get big outs is something playoff contenders need. If the Cubs want to be one, they need to make these big moves.