Theo Epstein and the Chicago Cubs are heading into a big offseason as they look to get back to the top of the National League. After being knocked out of the postseason in the NLCS by the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Cubs are now focused on free agency and monitoring the trade market.
Looking ahead at the upcoming free agency market, there are quite a few decisions that the Cubs will have to make.
There are quite a few players from the roster last season who are set to hit the free-agent market. Those players are Jake Arrieta, John Lackey, Koji Uehara, Wade Davis, Alex Avila, Brian Duensing, Rene Rivera, Mike Freeman, and Manny Parra. Chicago won’t re-sign the majority of them, but there are a few that the team should try to keep.
If the Cubs want to get back to the World Series next season, they will have to take a step or two forward. That will mean an addition or two but also not losing key pieces that they can’t replace. Quite a few teams will have major interest in the top free agent coming off of the Cubs’ roster.
All of that being said, which impending free agents should the Cubs attempt to re-sign this offseason?
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First and foremost, the Cubs must do everything in their power to re-sign Wade Davis. He was one of the best closers in baseball last season, and the Cubs simply cannot afford to let him walk. Davis won’t come cheap, and there will be plenty of teams interested in signing him, but the Cubs need to do whatever it takes to bring him back.
Epstein has already mentioned that he would like to re-sign Arrieta this offseason. It won’t be easy, but the Cubs need to make a big push to bring him back. Arrieta is widely expected to leave town in free agency, and it will be intriguing to see how things go.
Brian Duensing was quite possibly the most underrated player on the Cubs’ pitching staff this season. He finished the year with a 2.74 ERA in 62.1 innings. It is unknown what kind of contract he will be looking for this offseason, but the Cubs should bring him back.
Willson Contreras is one of the best up-and-coming catchers in baseball, but no team can have enough veteran leadership. Alex Avila stepped up in a big way when Contreras went down with injury, recording a .264 batting average to go along with 14 home runs and 49 RBI’s. Chicago should bring him back in the veteran backup role that he had in 2017, although he may search for a larger role elsewhere.
Do you think the Chicago Cubs should re-sign the four players mentioned above? Would you want them to re-sign any of their other free agents?
[Featured Image by Nam Y. Huh/AP Images]