With the Chicago Cubs fully invested in the shortstop market this offseason, the middle of their infield will probably look vastly different in 2023. Despite a stellar season at shortstop in 2022, Nico Hoerner appears set to move back to second base if a key free agent is brought to the Windy City.
A significant signing in free agency would give the Cubs a middle infield of Hoerner and a proven superstar, with Madrigal moving to the bench. While he does have upside at the plate, Madrigal should not be treated as a priority when filling out the roster.
As far as depth pieces go, Chicago has Christopher Morel and Miles Mastrobuoni on the roster who can provide an offensive spark. That leaves a mucky situation for a 25-year-old Madrigal that has a down year last season.
He struggled at the plate, struck out much more than advertised, and could not stay healthy once again. The once-promising return for Craig Kimbrel is now on the verge of being a trade candidate for an unproven Cubs team.
Chicago has prospects in waiting that can contribute within the next year or two which gives them even less of a reason to keep Madrigal. The organization also has the money to replace the veteran infielder if they want to go about it in free agency.
The best path for the organization is to flip Madrigal for a corner infielder or more pitching that can help the club in 2023. This roster is not that far away from being competitive so they should truly take every opportunity to improve the roster.
There were plenty of reasons to be excited about Madrigal when he was first brought to the north side. He was touted as a contact-inducing hitter that could handle the right side of second base and add some speed to the base paths.
Unfortunately, injuries have limited his playing time, and the playing time he has gotten with the Cubs has been far from remarkable. Now, it's time to consider alternatives.
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