Baseball has turned into a game that is driven by analytics, and analytics are also used to make projections for the upcoming MLB season. At least one person, and one set of data, is not liking the Cubs’ playoff chances in 2023.
Dan Szymborski has released his 2023 ZiPS standings projections, and he has the Cubs stuck in third place in the NL Central. According to these projections, the Cubs are slated to win just 74 games next season, putting them well behind the 91-win St. Louis Cardinals.
This projection has looked at the current roster for teams in the NL Central Division, and it’s pretty easy to see that the Cubs are behind in terms of talent. These projections will be ran again before the season, and an improved roster could boost the numbers.
It’s easy to come up with at least 10 or 11 more wins if the Cubs make some big moves, and 85 wins would be enough to be in the playoff race until the end of the year. Other teams in the Central Division are also going to be looking to improve as well, and the Cubs could actually be competing with the Cardinals for the same players.
Cubs Miss on Abreu
The Chicago White Sox decided to let Jose Abreu walk in free agency, and that’s a move that might end up costing that franchise dearly. As soon as it was announced that Abreu was leaving the White Sox, he became an obvious fit at first base for the Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs made Abreu a priority in free agency, and they wasted little time in reaching out to him and his agent. Unfortunately, the Cubs were unable to land Abreu in free agency as he decided to join the World Series champion Houston Astros.
Abreu was able to land a three-year deal with Houston, and that price tag ended up being way too much for the Cubs to spend anyways. That is one major target gone, and the Cubs have to quickly transition to someone else.
Cubs Must Win Winter Meetings
It’s been an extremely slow offseason for the entire league, and it’s hard to really understand what is going on. This free agent class is absolutely loaded with great players, but there just doesn’t seem to be any major movement.
You can expect that to change soon as the Winter Meetings are set to begin. This is the time of year in which all of the front office employees from every team are in the same location and they are setting up meetings with free agents.
The Cubs have to make their presence known at the Winter Meetings and they have to be willing to win some battles with key free agents. It’s time for the Cubs to strike, and they need to have at least one big free agent signed before heading back to Chicago.