Chicago Cubs Reportedly Considered Top Prospect As Third Base Replacement

The Chicago Cubs have reportedly considered an internal replacement for struggling third baseman.
Feb 23, 2024; Mesa, Arizona, USA; Chicago Cubs second baseman Matt Shaw (77) hits an RBI double against the Chicago White Sox in the first inning at Sloan Park.
Feb 23, 2024; Mesa, Arizona, USA; Chicago Cubs second baseman Matt Shaw (77) hits an RBI double against the Chicago White Sox in the first inning at Sloan Park. / Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
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The Chicago Cubs need to come up with an answer at third base if they want to continue their playoff push and have reportedly considered calling up a top prospect.

As Patrick Mooney of The Athletic examined the state of the roster, he touched on their plans to get better at third base to replace the struggling Christopher Morel. While hitting the trade block is one option, they have also looked at calling up Matt Shaw.

Morel can hit home runs, but that's about all he's been able to do this season. He could possibly be considered one of the leagues 'unluckiest' players as his xBA and xwOBA are well above his actual numbers and are actually the highest they've been in his career. His BABIP has dipped from .303 last year to .216 this season.

He's on-pace for a career-best in home runs, but that's almost all that is working for him at the plate. Nearly 27% of his hits are long balls.

Still, the 24-year-old is slashing just .205/.314/.393 this season and at some point you have to draw a line and look for something that will work.

Shaw is currently the No. 3 prospect in the farm system and No. 42 overall in the MLB pipeline. His 'ETA' is not listed to be until 2025, but desperation to get better on the hot corner could force them to move the timeline.

The problem is relying on the 22-year-old to be your answer at the plate is that he's currently in just Double A but still struggling.

He was the No. 13 overall selection in the 2023 MLB draft. He worked his way through rookie ball and high A very quickly, but has hit a wall.

In 57 games this season, he's slashing just .226/.342/.358 at the plate. You would be sacrificing some power now while improving much elsewhere.

There is a chance that the former Maryland Terrapin does show similar power to Morel at some point, though, as he had an impressive 46 home runs over his last two seasons in college.

Before calling him straight up to the show, they should at least give him a stint in Triple A to see if he can improve in a new environment.

Would the potential improvement over Morel be worth rushing one of their top prospects? Probably not. A look at the trade market could make more sense for the short-term.


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Dylan Sanders

DYLAN SANDERS

Dylan Sanders graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree from the Manship School of Mass Communication in 2023. He was born in raised in Baton Rouge, LA but has also lived in Buffalo, NY. Though he is a recent graduate, he has been writing about sports since he was in high school, covering different sports from baseball to football. While in college, he wrote for the school paper The Reveille and for 247Sports. He was able cover championships in football, baseball and women's basketball during his time at LSU. He has also spent a few years covering the NFL draft and every day activities of the New Orleans Saints. He is a Senior Writer at Inside the Marlins and will also be found across Sports Illustrated's baseball sites as a contributing writer. You can follow him on Twitter or Instagram @dillysanders