Cubs Positioned to Give Cards a Tough Time


Ben Mitchell, Reporter

When you look at the National League Central you have the Cardinals, Cubs, Brewers, Pirates and Reds.  When you look at all of the rosters, the Cardinals have one of the best offenses in baseball, but their pitching staff is a little sketchy. But the Cubs roster this season could give the Cardinals a run for their money. Due to some key signings, I believe the Cubs will have a more productive roster than the Cardinals. 

Even though the Cubs didn’t make it to the playoffs last season, this offseason has been a lot better than the Cardinal’s offseason. The Cubs’ front office gave the okay to spend as much money as possible to make the team better. The Cubs are also taking risks with their signings. The first big signing is outfielder Cody Bellinger who won the MVP in 2019 and also is a multi-time Gold Glove winner in center field, then hit a wall the past couple of seasons. Bellinger was drafted in 2013 by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the third round.  In 2022, Bellinger hit .210 and slugged .389, which is better than it has been.  The addition of Bellinger to the outfield will help a lot with the shift being a band, and the Cubs are hopeful that a change of scenery will help him return to his MVP form. 

The next big signing for the Cubs is Jamison Taillon, a starting pitcher formerly of the New York Yankees. Taillon was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second round, then made his debut in 2016 for the Pirates. He was then traded to the Yankees before the 2021 season, and then signed with the Cubs for four years. The Cubs starting pitching staff last year was not the best, and the bullpen was worse than the starting rotation.  Taillon has a career of 11.8 WAR (Wins Above Replacement) and a 3.84 ERA. The addition of Taillon will take the stress off of Marcus Stroman and Kyle Hendricks so they can be better than they were last season.   

The final big signing is short stop Dansby Swanson, formerly of the Atlanta Braves.  Even though the Cubs already have a really good short stop in Nico Horner the second base position was always up in the air at times, but now with the addition of Swanson and with Horner’s athleticism, the Cubs went from one of the worst middle infields to the best middle infield in the league.  Swanson also hits well along with his stellar defense.  Swanson hit .277 last year, hit 25 home runs and had 96 RBIs on the season as well. With Swanson going into his age 29 season, he is getting ready to enter his prime and the Cubs have control of him for the next seven years. 

So before the season starts, it looks like the Cardinals might run away with the division. Still, the Cubs have a real shot to give the Cardinals a run for their money. And, if the Cubs call up some of their top prospects in Brennen Davis and Pete Crow-Armstrong, this Cubs’ team can only get better and better.