December 5, 2019


The Cubs have many issues to resolve by spring training 2020.

An aging starting rotation.
Core players nearing the end of their contractual control.
Ownership enforcing a hard cap on spending.
Major line up holes to fill.
A bullpen that needs reconstruction (again).
A farm system that is sub par.

The Cubs have almost no farm assets to trade for a quality major league player.
The only trade assets are current roster players (Bryant, Contreras, Schwarber and Rizzo). But the front office overvalues and keeps "their guys" unless there is an attitude change.

One of the position black holes has been center field. Heyward is a gold glove RF. He needs to be moved back to that position (and bat 5th or 6th in the lineup where he had his best batting average in 2019). Albert Almora appears to be a utility player. He had been given the opportunity to win the CF job, but he failed.

To solve two problems are once, the Cubs should consider signing free agent CF Kevin Pillar. Pillar is a plus outfield defender, with a plus 11 runs saved. He can play CF. Last year, he hit .259, 21 HR, 88 RBI, 14 SB for the Giants. The Giants non-tendered him because estimates were that his $5.8 million salary would jump to $8-10 million in 2020.

Whether the Cubs can afford Pillar at that level is questionable. Whether the Cubs need to sign him to fill two roles is not in question. It would be a much more stable lineup, even if the Cubs made no further moves.

1. Pillar CF
2. Schwarber LF
3. Bryant 3B
4. Rizzo 1B
5. Baez SS
6. Contreras C
7. Heyward RF
8. Hoerner 2B
9 Pitcher

In this set lineup, Bryant protects Schwarber, Rizzo protects Bryant, Baez protects Rizzo and Contreras protects Baez.  It makes opposing pitchers have to plan carefully through the top of the Cubs lineup.