The 2024 Cubs Season is Around The Corner

Welcome back baseball! The Chicago Cubs are making the home field return April 1st against the Colorado Rockies at 1:20PM. There are some new faces this year, including our head manager Craig Counsell from Milwaukee. Here are 10 things that happened in the offseason so you’re all caught up for opening day!

Former Brewer Tapped to Lead Chicago Cubs

Craig Counsell is the new team manager! His hiring as the new manager was an interesting move, marking a huge shift in leadership in the Cubs. With a five-year contract worth $40 million, Counsell, previously with the Milwaukee Brewers (bleh), is set to bring his successful managerial approach to the Cubs. His time with the Brewers was marked by getting the most out of a smaller-market payroll and roster, reaching the playoffs in five of the past six years. The move was unexpected, and Counsell himself admitted he was surprised by the Cubs’ interest but up for the challenge.

Busch on First, Shota on the Mound & Neris Ready for Action – New Guys on the Field!

The Cubs made a few big trades this off season, the largest with the Dodgers to acquire Michael Busch for first base, a promising talent aimed at strengthening their offense. Busch’s impressive OPS in Triple-A positions him as a key player. We also got Japanese left-handed started Shota Imanaga which will help the current abundant vacancies in the pitching rotation. Shota has seen promising in the pre-season, with insane fastball throws against the Giants, striking out 13 of their players. The Cubs also signed relief pitcher Hector Neris to a one year deal, hopefully addressing the need for more relief pitchers in our bullpen.

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Now Hiring: Pitchers!

With only two starting pitchers under contract and Marcus Stroman not picking up his option, the Cubs faced a significant challenge in rebuilding their pitching roster. Acquiring new starters became a necessity to fill these gaps. We are still training up some newer talent on the Tripple A Team Iowa Cubs, but our roster still has a pretty definite pitching void.

Nico Returns!

Nico Hoerner got a contract extension, solidifying his role as a core member of the Cubs. He’s been with the team since the 2018 draft season. In 2023, he won the golden glove award with 150 games played in the 2023 season with nine home runs, 68 RBIs, 98 runs scored, and 43 stolen bases. Nico Hoener has been with the Cubs since his major league debut and has been growing ever since.

Shohei Ohtani – A Swing and A Miss (thankfully)

The Cubs actively pursued Shohei Ohtani, one of the offseason’ s most coveted free agents. Despite their efforts, Ohtani ultimately signed a megadeal with the Dodgers, leaving the Cubs to explore other options. Which, as of currently, might have been for the best amid scandal before the regular season even started.

Bellinger Bellied Up to Negotiations

Cody Bellinger’s future with the team was a major point of debate this offseason. With his market value potentially making it challenging for the Cubs to re-sign him, the team had to consider alternatives for their outfield and first base positions. They ended up resigning him for a three-year, $80 million deal, with opt-outs after the 2024 and 2025 seasons.

Pete Crow Armstrong Ended Up in the Minor Leagues but Continues To Show Impressive Progress

Pete Crow-Armstrong, a young talent within the Cubs’ system, was scouted for his elite defensive skills. We sent him to Iowa once we re-signed Bellinger, but he’s looking like he might climb the ranks quickly after scoring 2 grand slams in the week. One of them flew an impressive 410 feet, which would easily reach the Ballhawks that camp out on Kenmore every game.

We Still Have Wisdom (but it might be a while until we see him)

Cubs’ sweetheart Patrick Wisdom has been having a rough time in training camp and might be on track to miss opening day due to his back injury. Patrick broke numerous rookie records in 2021 & every Cubs fan is wishing him a speedy recovery.

We Officially Have Sports Betting Right Outside of Wrigley Field, so that’s a thing.

Just in the nick of time, after DraftKings Sportbook opened in 2023, it took about a year for the state to issue their online gambling license. Now they’re off to the races (literally and figuratively) and you can place your bets!

40 Went In, Only 26 Can Remain

As the Chicago Cubs approach Opening Day, their roster is close to being set. Patrick Wisdom will start on the IL, and Jameson Taillon is out until mid-April, affecting the 35-player spring roster. Catchers Jorge Alfaro and Joe Hudson have been cut, and Nick Madrigal’s status for Opening Day remains uncertain due to a hamstring injury. With 28 players competing for 26 spots for opening day, non-roster invitees Carl Edwards Jr. and Garrett Cooper are in consideration, especially given the team’s full 40-man roster and Wisdom’s uncertain future. Also, Seiya Suzuki has been shining this year, with a .469 batting average and a 1.514 OPS this spring, Suzuki is looking more ready than ever for this season.