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Friday, March 1, 2024

Cubs Looking to Sign Left-Handed Hitter, 3 Names Surface

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The Cubs have added Cody Bellinger and Dansby Swanson to their 2023 starting lineup, but Jed Hoyer still needs to acquire more talent this offseason. Hoyer spoke to the media and discussed the desire to add at least one more hitter, preferably a left-handed hitter that give the team more balance.



While right-handed hitter Trey Mancini remains on the Cubs’ radar, 670 The Score’s Bruce Levine, said the Cubs are currently looking at a trio of left-handed hitting free agents.

Via 670 The Score.

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Among those on the Cubs’ radar are first baseman Eric Hosmer, outfielder Michael Conforto and outfielder Dominic Smith, sources said. All are lefty bats.

First baseman/outfielder Trey Mancini, a righty bat, has also been on the Cubs’ list, but Hoyer admitted a lefty bat is the preference.

“We are probably more right-handed than would be ideal right now,” Hoyer said. “That is probably fair to say.”

Michael Conforto remains as the best possible option left in free agency not just as a left-handed hitter, but as the best position player available period. Levine brought up Conforto as a possible option for the Cubs this past weekend and there has been a connection from Jon Heyman last week as well, when he brought up the Cubs as a team interested in Conforto.

There was also some rumblings on Monday about the Cubs having active interest in Conforto.

The Cubs need more power potential, especially from the left side, and Conforto is the ideal guy to bring in and give that dynamic to the lineup. Hoyer was on 670 The Score Thursday morning and once again brought up the need for a left-handed hitter.

And well that brings us to the other names, Eric Hosmer and Dominic Smith.

This isn’t the first time Smith has been linked to the Cubs, as his name popped up during the Winter Meetings after the Cubs signed Bellinger.

Smith, 27, has been up with the Mets since 2017, mainly in a bench role. He did play in 145 games during the 2021 season and although Smith did have success in 2019-20, he’s been brutal ever since. In the past two seasons, Smith has a slash line of .233/.298/.345, with an 82 wRC+ and 11 home runs in 645 plate appearances.

I mean, maybe the Cubs think they can get Smith closer to his 2019-20 production? During those two years Smith slashed .299/.366/.571, with a 150 wRC+ and 21 home runs in 396 plate appearances. Was his production helped out because of the juiced balls? Kind of looks that because it’s not like Smith’s strikeout and walk numbers have changed much over time.

On a minor-league deal? Sure, why not. See if you can make an adjustment or two with Smith, but if you’re the Cubs and are counting on Smith to be a starter or get a decent amount of playing time to begin the season, would be a bad idea.

Hosmer? No thank you. I know he’s not going to cost anything because the Padres are paying off his contract, but he just isn’t good and not even average anymore in terms of providing power, which is what the Cubs need. Since 2018, there has only been one season Hosmer has had a slugging percentage above .425, and that came in a 38-game sample size during 2020.

Last season with the Padres and Red Sox, Hosmer had a .382 slugging percentage and a .113 ISO. He only has 20 home runs in his last 984 plate appearances. Hard pass on Hosmer.

Please, just get Michael Conforto.

More Cubs talk on this week’s Pinwheels And Ivy Podcast.

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