Cubs Signing Mancini, Adding to Offseason Haul

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The Chicago Cubs have been one of the more active teams this offseason. On Jan. 14, the Cubs acquired designated hitter and first baseman Trey Mancini, signing him to a two-year contract. The deal is for $7 million per year with an opt-out, allowing Mancini to potentially take advantage of a big 2023 season.

The Cubs have already made a handful of big moves this offseason. They have been the biggest spenders in the National League Central Division, indicating they are ready to move to the next phase of their rebuild. Moreover, the Mancini signing could be the final piece on the roster to make them frontrunners to win the division.

Mancini’s Comeback

Mancini is one of the best comeback stories in baseball. He was one of the best hitters on the Baltimore Orioles and an integral part of a rebuilding roster. Ahead of the 2020 season, Mancini was diagnosed with colon cancer and had to miss the entire year. Since entering the league as a regular in 2017, he played 147 or more games in every season. Unfortunately, he never saw the field in the shorted 2020 season and it was unclear at the time if he’d play baseball again.

After missing the year, Mancini returned for the 2021 season and picked up right where he left off. Along with playing 147 games, he slashed .255/.326/.432 with 21 home runs and 240 total bases. Additionally, he became a veteran presence and a leader on a younger rebuilding roster, helping accelerate the Orioles turnaround. Mancini’s 2022 season bookended the remarkable comeback. He had another strong year, but more importantly, was traded to the Houston Astros at the trade deadline and helped them win the World Series title.

How the Mancini Signing Impacts the Cubs

Mancini’s career slash line is .265/.330/.457 and he has 20 home runs or more in four of his six seasons. He’s not known for his plate discipline, but the power from the right side of the plate is a valued attribute for a Cubs lineup that averaged only 4.06 runs per game last year. Mancini will bat in the heart of the lineup with his power–adding a much-needed spark. Additionally, the Cubs are hoping that his pull swing will benefit from Wrigley Field’s left-field wall, especially in the warmer months when the ball carries.

Mancini is known for being a designated hitter. However, in recent seasons, he’s also made his mark as a versatile fielder. With the Astros, his glove at first base helped solidify the infield in their championship run. Likewise, Mancini plays the corner outfield positions and will allow the Cubs to overcome any injuries in the outfield. The signing only cost the Cubs $14 million but he could become a valuable addition, along with the other signings they have made.

Cubs Offseason Signings

The Cubs are building their team to win the division this season and possibly compete in the National League. They went 74 and 88 last year but were led by a young core of everyday players. Ian Happ, Seiya Suzuki, Nico Hoerner, and Christopher Morel are all 27 years old or younger. Then the Cubs signed multiple veteran players. They signed Cody Bellinger to a one-year deal. Bellinger was followed by the blockbuster addition of shortstop Dansby Swanson signing a seven-year deal. Then they signed Eric Hosmer to a one-year deal.

The Cubs signing Mancini is the cherry on top. The move gives them a mix of young talent and veteran presence. Likewise, it adds power to the lineup and along with Bellinger’s swing, the Cubs will have two hit-or-miss additions in the middle of their batting order. After a two-year hiatus from the postseason, they look ready to return to October baseball. The Central Division is shaping up to be an unpredictable one, but one that they can run away with if the roster plays up to its potential.

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Mike Fink

Mike Fink

Mike Fink joined Sport Relay in December 2022 and covers the New York Yankees. In addition to covering the Yankees, Fink has also covered the New York Islanders since 2020 for The Hockey Writers and has been writing about sports at large. Mike also likes to travel but has found Baltimore and Chicago are the only two cities that come close to New York City.

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