MLB Rumors: With Rhys Hoskins dream dead, Cubs should pursue backup plan

The Chicago Cubs need some power in their lineup. If they are unable to sign Rhys Hoskins, then they should consider these two backup plans.
Wild Card Series - Miami Marlins v Philadelphia Phillies - Game One
Wild Card Series - Miami Marlins v Philadelphia Phillies - Game One / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The Chicago Cubs are going to need some power in their lineup for the 2024 season. They came very close to reaching the postseason last year, finishing just one game back of the third and final Wild Card spot in the National League with an 83-79 record.

One player who might fit the bill of hitters who possess power and can neutralize right-handed pitching is Rhys Hoskins. The slugging first baseman was non-tendered by the Philadelphia Phillies after missing the 2023 season with a torn ACL.

First base was an area of need for the Cubs, until they acquired Michael Busch from the Los Angeles Dodgers. In his latest column in The Athletic, Cubs writer Sahadev Sharma stated that because of the trade to acquire Busch, Hoskins is now a "less attractive option."

Though a Hoskins signing can't be ruled out completely, his recent injury history and the fact that he is over 30 years of age could be mitigating factors. Instead, Sharma listed Cody Bellinger and Matt Chapman as better options for the North Siders.

Cubs writer lists Matt Chapman, Cody Bellinger as potential fits

A more urgent need for the Cubs is third base. Though Busch could potentially play the position, he is more than likely already penciled in at first base. And with top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong patrolling center field, third base is the more glaring hole.

In that case, Chapman could be a fit for the Cubs. Sharma notes that if Chapman is added, the Cubs could have a dangerous infield with Dansby Swanson at shortstop and Nico Hoerner at second base.

Chapman is a solid defender and is more than capable of hitting right-handed pitching, as evidenced by his 104 wRC+ against righties dating back to 2021.

Bellinger on the other hand became a fan favorite in Chicago after signing a one-year deal with the team last offseason. Following a few down seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Bellinger found his old form again and earned Comeback Player of the Year honors in the National League.

Bellinger's Cubs teammates have also endorsed the idea of bringing back the veteran slugger. At this year's annual Cubs Convention, Dansby Swanson addressed the crowd and stated that before the season begins, the Cubs should do everything in their power to bring back the former MVP and Rookie of the Year.

Even with Busch slotted in at first base and Crow-Armstrong expected to play center field, the fit for Bellinger is an obvious one. He could serve as a designated hitter or potentially play first while the Cubs shift Busch to DH duties.

With all of that in mind, Chapman and Bellinger seem like better fits for the Cubs than Hoskins, but with so many free agents still available, time will tell how things shake out.

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