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Chicago Cubs Considering Rhys Hoskins as Potential Free-Agent Signing
Many folks here have mentioned Rhys Hoskins as a possible free-agent signing by the Cubs. Josh wrote an entire BCB After Dark about the possibility. I have a pretty strong opinion on this topic, so, sure, let’s talk about Rhys Hoskins.
The Cubs’ Interest in Rhys Hoskins
According to sources from The Athletic, the Chicago Cubs are considering Rhys Hoskins as a good fit for their roster. With an opening at first base and a need for a middle-of-the-order hitter, the Cubs see Hoskins as an opportunity to add an impact player with postseason experience without committing to a long-term contract.
Hoskins, known for his contributions in bridging the Philadelphia Phillies from a rebuilding team to a World Series contender, showcased his power during the 2022 playoffs with six home runs. Unfortunately, his season was cut short due to a torn ACL in his left knee during spring training in March. However, he has been working towards making a comeback and is expected to be healthy for the upcoming 2024 season.
Defensive Concerns and Alternatives
While Hoskins has proven himself as a strong hitter, his defensive abilities have been a cause for concern. During his time with the Phillies, he struggled in left field, providing a -3.0 defensive bWAR in 2018. Even after transitioning to first base in 2019, his defensive performance remained subpar. In 2022, he ranked 16th out of 18 qualified first basemen in MLB according to Fangraphs.
The Cubs, under the leadership of Jed Hoyer, have prioritized improving their defense, especially up the middle. With the recent signing of Dansby Swanson and the move of Nico Hoerner to second base, the Cubs have made significant strides in this area. Cody Bellinger, who played 44 games at first base for the Cubs in 2023, proved to be at least adequate defensively.
Considering Hoskins’ defensive limitations and his declining offensive performance (his OPS dropped from .864 in 2021 to .794 in 2022), some argue that the Cubs should focus on retaining Bellinger instead. Bellinger’s defensive skills and versatility have been valuable assets for the team.
Poll: Should the Cubs Sign Rhys Hoskins?
… the Cubs should sign him for the amount proposed in the MLBTR article
… the Cubs should sign him, but for a different amount in dollars or years or both
… the Cubs should not sign him
Something else (leave in comments)
408 votes total
While Rhys Hoskins’ offensive capabilities are undeniable, his defensive shortcomings and declining performance raise concerns for the Cubs. With a focus on improving their defense, the Cubs may need to explore other options, such as retaining Cody Bellinger, who has proven to be a reliable defensive presence at first base.
Ultimately, the decision on whether to sign Hoskins will depend on the Cubs’ evaluation of his overall value and fit within their roster. The poll results will provide valuable insights into the fans’ opinions on this matter.
Cubs Considering Rhys Hoskins as Potential Free-Agent Signing
The Chicago Cubs are reportedly eyeing Rhys Hoskins as a potential addition to their roster in the upcoming free agency period. According to league sources, the Cubs view Hoskins as a good fit for their team, given their need for a middle-of-the-order hitter and an opening at first base.
Hoskins, who played a crucial role in the Philadelphia Phillies’ journey from a rebuilding team to a World Series contender, showcased his power during the 2022 playoffs, hitting six home runs. However, his season was cut short due to a torn ACL in his left knee during spring training. Despite the setback, Hoskins worked hard to make a comeback and trained at the team’s Florida complex before the Phillies were eliminated from the National League Championship Series.
Although he didn’t play for the Phillies in 2023, it is expected that Hoskins will be fully healthy for the upcoming season. However, some concerns have been raised about his defensive abilities. During his time with the Phillies, Hoskins struggled defensively, particularly when playing in left field. His defensive performance in 2018 was notably poor, with a -3.0 defensive bWAR, one of the worst figures in recent memory.
In 2019, Hoskins was moved to first base, but his defensive skills remained subpar. In 2022, he ranked 16th out of 18 qualified first basemen in MLB, according to Fangraphs. This raises questions about whether the Cubs, who have emphasized improving their defense, should prioritize signing a player with Hoskins’ defensive limitations.
Offensively, Hoskins has shown promise, although his performance has dipped in recent years. His OPS dropped from .864 in 2021 to .794 in 2022. Additionally, he will turn 31 in March, which raises concerns about his long-term productivity. MLB Trade Rumors suggests that Hoskins could potentially secure a two-year, $36 million deal, although some believe this estimate may be inflated.
Given the Cubs’ focus on defensive improvement and the presence of Cody Bellinger, who proved to be at least adequate at first base, some argue that the team should prioritize other options. Bellinger played the most games at first base for the Cubs in 2023, and his defensive contributions were valued after the departure of Anthony Rizzo, who won four Gold Gloves during his time with the team.
Ultimately, the decision on whether to pursue Rhys Hoskins will depend on the Cubs’ evaluation of his overall fit within their roster and their willingness to invest in a player with defensive limitations. As the offseason approaches, the Cubs will need to carefully consider their options to ensure they continue to build a competitive and well-rounded team.
Poll Results: Should the Cubs Sign Rhys Hoskins?
- 4% of voters (20 votes) believe the Cubs should sign him for the amount proposed in the MLBTR article.
- 19% of voters (79 votes) think the Cubs should sign him, but for a different amount in dollars or years or both.
- 72% of voters (296 votes) believe the Cubs should not sign him.
- 3% of voters (13 votes) chose “Something else” and left comments.
Total votes: 408