If the Chicago Cubs fail to sign a free agent first baseman, they could look at the trade market for some answers.
Anthony Rizzo won’t be starting on Opening Day for the Chicago Cubs. He is back with the New York Yankees.
The Cubs have a free agent market they can continue to look at. Jose Abreu, Josh Bell, and others top it. What about the trade market?
For both long-term and short-term planning, the Cubs can explore striking a deal with more than a player’s agent this offseason to fill the first base gap. It was a hole in the lineup they cannot ignore. These trades can help them, at least for one year, possibly get a little more out of the position.
1) Cubs trade for a first baseman: Rhys Hoskins from the Phillies
How eager will the Philadelphia Phillies be to trade first baseman Rhys Hoskins? He has been one of the core members of the team for several years. His free agency next winter could have them already looking elsewhere.
The Phillies definitely have alternatives at the position. The defensively-limited National League Champions can move Alec Bohm across the diamond and open up third base. They can also move Nick Castellanos or Kyle Schwarber to the position. This can allow them to look at better defenders for their outfield.
From a Cubs perspective, trading for Hoskins could be a longer plan. He probably isn’t best-suited to continue to play first base. After all, one of the reasons why the Phillies should be interested in moving him is his defense. In 2023, the Cubs can get away with it. If they choose to re-sign him, the DH role would make a lot more sense.
Hoskins has been a power-hitting and high OBP guy for much of his career. He has a lot of weaknesses. He also has some tremendous strengths. The downside to trading for him is that the Phillies will want something useful in return. The Cubs will need to subtract a little too much for a guy who might not stick around for long.