Cubs might regain their power with an amazing play contention in 2023 after showing promise in OKBet Baseball 2022


Cubs at OKBet Baseball 2022

The Chicago Cubs haven’t been particularly nationally noteworthy for most of 2022, despite a good run of significance in previous years – an understatement for much of the period. Will the Cubs, fresh off the Golden Era of baseball, return to prominence in 2023?

The 2022 season of Cubs had several encouraging indicators, both in the majors and in the minors. Even if they will finish considerably below.500 in 2022, there are reasons to be optimistic about the team’s future. In fact, they might be a contender in 2023. Let’s get started at OKBet Baseball.


Positive signals in the majors of Cubs of OKBet Baseball

This one will be mentioned again in the minor-league portion, since the club as a whole has done wonderfully with pitching development this season. Sure, it’s the results of years of hard work, but the actual advancement was made in 2022.

Let’s begin with Justin Steele. He had a 3.18 ERA in 24 starts and struck out 126 batters in 119 innings. There were a couple meltdowns that hurt his stats, but he ended strong with a 1.49 ERA in his final ten outings. Moving ahead, he will undoubtedly be a rotation staple.


Keegan Thompson emerged as well, but to a lesser degree. He battled with consistency, and he may be more suited as a long reliever or swing man (a la Ross Stripling) than a full-time starter, but he’s a keeper.

Hayden Wesneski was acquired by the Cubs at the trade deadline in exchange for reliever Scott Effross. In 22 innings, he has a 2.45 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, and 24 strikeouts against four walks. He’s 24 years old and certainly looks the part OKBet Baseball.

Since the break, the big-league starters have been outstanding. Only the Dodgers and Astros have a lower second-half rotation ERA than the Cubs’ 3.15. Marcus Stroman has shown that there is reason to believe he will have a successful 2023 season. Adrian Sampson and Drew Smyly (who has a club option that the Cubs will almost certainly take up) have also been excellent enough to deserve consideration for key roles next season.

Nico Hoerner was the greatest benefit for the Cubs this season, apart from the rotation. He’s kept fairly healthy and is hitting. 290 with a 111 OPS+, 18 stolen bases in 20 attempts, and excellent defense at shortstop. He’d need to improve his on-base percentage and slugging before becoming a star, but he’s definitely a cornerstone player. That was not obvious prior to this year.

Christopher Morel seems to be a full-time utility player with significant promise.

The Cubs seem to be considering letting catcher Willson Contreras depart. If that is the case, they still have a position-player core of Hoerner, Happ, Suzuki, and Morel before embarking on what might be a massive summer at OKBet.

Positive signals in the minors

Individually, we must begin with Matt Mervis, even though he was not picked and was not on any prospect rating lists from the spring. He’s on fire. This season, he hit 310/.380/.610 with 39 doubles, 36 home runs, and 119 RBI in 135 games split between High-A (27 games), Double-A (53 games), and Triple-A (55 games). He might take over first base as soon as next year.

Alexander Canario has also hit 35 home runs (24 games in High-A, 81 in Double-A and 18 in Triple-A). In addition, he stole 23 bases. He’s played all three outfield spots and can fill in at center if necessary. Brennen Davis had a bad year due to injuries, but he might make progress and wind up as the center fielder as well as OKBet.

Of course, any of those men would be warming up Pete Crow-Armstrong in center field. The 20-year-old, acquired from the Mets in 2021, appeared in 101 games (38 in Class A, 63 in High-A) and hit.312/.376/.520 with 20 doubles, 10 triples, 16 homers, 61 RBI, 89 runs, 32 stolen bases, and some of the greatest defense in the minors. He’ll begin the season at Double-A and, hopefully, won’t be too long until he’s in Wrigley.

In general the OKBet Baseball, the system as a whole is seen to have advanced significantly this season. There is much greater volume than two years ago. As I said before, there were strides made with a fair number of pitchers. Jordan Wicks, Ben Brown, DJ Herz, and Caleb Kilian are names to remember in the near future (who debuted in June for a rough three-start stretch).

As of Aug. 23, the Cubs were rated 10th in baseball by The Cubs are ranked fourth in Fangraphs’ future value calculation. The one criticism – and where it differs most from the squad that won the World Series – is that there is a lot of depth but few, if any, elite-tier players. Crow-Armstrong might become that elite-level player, but most believe they have a lot of potentially decent players but no stars (again, PCA might be the exception).

monetary clout

The Cubs still have Jason Heyward’s $22 million sunk cost on the books for next season at OKBet Baseball, but both parties have already decided to split ways. The Cubs have the means to do so. Even so, they look to have a little more than $123 million going into 2023, with Suzuki being the sole guaranteed pay beyond 2024.

They have the resources to pay a payroll of $200 million or more.

Things are more convoluted, but this was just a bare-bones calculation to demonstrate that the Cubs can spend a lot of money in free agency this year. They can easily outspend everyone in their division, and word from the North Side here late in the season suggests ownership (namely chairman Tom Ricketts) is on board with a bit of an offseason buying frenzy this coming offseason.

They might, of course, work for pay in trades. This is where we return to the deep farm system. If they have a lot of strong depth but lack star power, they may package prospects to get experienced big-league players.

How do we proceed?

If they want to compete soon, they’ll need to put in some effort, since although Hoerner/Happ/Suzuki/Morel is a fine starting point, it’s not nearly good enough without some huge needle-movers. It’s not enough to rely on children for assistance. Indeed, as previously said, one of the objectives for building up the farm is to utilize some of that prospect money to trade for MLB assistance.

What if the Red Sox make Rafael Devers available in a trade if they go that route? He’s just 25, the Cubs can afford to offer him a massive deal, they have the prospect currency the Red Sox desire, and he’s the sort of player to build a brand around as the club’s superstar face.

Ozzie Albies is another player who may be dealt who could fit into the Cubs’ future plans, and his contract is very team-friendly. Of course, if the Angels make Shohei Ohtani available, the Cubs could make it work.

In terms of free agency, the Cubs are expected to aggressively pursue Trea Turner, Carlos Correa (if he opts out), Xander Bogaerts (assuming he opts out), and Dansby Swanson. If they sign one of these players, they’ll have to figure out how to make it work with Hoerner, but that’s a line they’ll have to cross if they get there — plus, Hoerner is very good, but not good enough to pass on a big free agent based only on his presence.

Similar to the position players, the Cubs’ starting pitching is in good health at OKBet, but the team desperately needs at least one ace-caliber pitcher and likely another mid-rotation type. Adding two pitchers in Stroman, Steele, and a returning Kyle Hendricks, with Thompson as the sixth starter/long reliever, would be excellent, even without Wesneski. If there is just one pitcher, Smyly or Wesneski may be added to the mix. Sampson is a solid depth option, as are several of the younger players, including prospects and Javier Assad, and we’ve seen how crucial it is to having seven or eight rotation choices on competing teams.
With numerous young arms emerging in the rotation and the bullpen heroics of Brandon Hughes and a few others (maybe this is where Adbert Alzolay fits long term), there’s reason to hope the Cubs can build a competent bullpen with what they have and enhance it with inexpensive acquisitions. Starters should be prioritized above high-profile, outside-organization assistance.

Some free-agent pitchers to consider include: Jacob deGrom (if he opts out), Carlos Rodón, Chris Bassitt, Mike Clevinger, Nathan Eovaldi, Sean Manaea, Noah Syndergaard, and Taijuan Walker (if he rejects his $6 million player option). Japanese superstar Kodai Senga is also slated to compete.

Is Rodón being brought back to Chicago? Is it enough, or do they need two more starters? They may surely look into the trading market as well. Isn’t it about time the Guardians started paying attention to Shane Bieber (who will be a free agent after 2024)?

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