3 Rhys Hoskins backup plans the Chicago Cubs should act on now

The Chicago Cubs were unable to land Rhys Hoskins, who signed a two-year deal with Craig Counsell's former team.

Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia Phillies
Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia Phillies / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Cubs can add defensive ace in Matt Chapman

The Matt Chapman rumors have been gaining steam around Chicago. Whether he's Cody Bellinger backup plan or a Cody Bellinger complement is yet to be seen, but with how the Cubs' infield currently shapes up, there's a good chance Chapman is the Cubs' only major positional signing. That is, of course, assuming Chicago can actually get a deal across the finish line.

Chapman should demand a lower price tag than Bellinger, but he will require a greater long-term commitment than Hoskins. Last season was up and down for the 30-year-old third baseman, as he slashed .240/.330/.424 with 17 home runs and 54 RBI in 509 AB. While Chapman struggled to achieve his customary success at the plate, he did win his fourth Gold Glove award, manning the hot corner with aplomb for a competitive Toronto Blue Jays squad.

There's a strong case to be made that Chapman is the best defender in the MLB at one of the most challenging positions in baseball. The Cubs already have an elite defensive infield with Dansby Swanson and Nico Hoerner. Chapman would be icing on the cake.

With first base no longer top priority, it's clear the Cubs are shifting their financial focus to Chapman. Bellinger is still in the mix, of course, but Chapman would address Chicago's primary infield need. Bellinger would probably push Busch out of first base, leading to complications with Morel and the Cubs' DH plans. Bellinger is good enough to warrant such complications, but if the Cubs don't feel great about Bellinger's future — nor the fact that Hoskins just signed a stone's throw away in Milwaukee — Chapman is a solid alternative.

MLB RUMORS. Cubs miss on Hoskins, Clase trade options, Brewers next moves. Cubs miss on Hoskins, Clase trade options, Brewers next moves. dark