Cubs Rumors: Latest Ohtani buzz, Pete Alonso Plan B, cutting major ties

  • Cubs, Marcus Stroman heading in different directions
  • Cubs could target Rhys Hoskins instead of Pete Alonso
  • Chicago on shortlist of Shohei Ohtani favorites

Chicago Cubs v Los Angeles Angels
Chicago Cubs v Los Angeles Angels / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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Cubs Rumors: Rhys Hoskins could be Plan B if Pete Alonso trade plan fails

The Chicago Cubs are expected to target a power hitter to anchor the middle of their lineup. New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso has been a favorite of prognosticators, but it can be difficult to iron out trades for a legitimate star — especially when the Mets aren't committed one way or another with respect to Alonso's future.

Chicago needs a backup plan, and thanks to the Philadelphia Phillies, one is about to create waves in the free agent market.

Phillies GM Dave Dombrowski recently announced that Bryce Harper will remain the everyday first baseman for Philadelphia next season. With Kyle Schwarber already locked in the DH spot, that essentially leaves Rhys Hoskins without a home. The 30-year-old, who has spent his entire major league career with Philadelphia, was absent for the entire 2023 season after suffering a torn ACL in spring training. Now, he's expected back at full strength in the new year. Just not with the Phillies.

According to Patrick Mooney and Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic, the Cubs view Hoskins as "a good fit for their roster." Cody Bellinger's future hangs in the balance, which only increases the importance of adding another powerful bat to the middle of the lineup.

Before his injury, Hoskins was an essential element of the Phillies' World Series offense. He slashed .246/.332/.462 with 30 home runs and 79 RBIs in 2022. In 2019, he led the MLB with 116 walks. There is always a level of concern with a player returning from a major knee injury, but Hoskins plays a relatively streamlined defensive position at first base and he should be able to return to his previous power level eventually.