Cubs Spring Training

Cubs spring training news: Morel focuses on third, Gold Glover not on team's radar

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The Chicago Cubs are revving up their workouts ahead of their Cactus League opener later this week, and the team is still making news even as they remain quiet on the free agency front.

The Cubs will open their 2024 spring training schedule on Friday against the Chicago White Sox, and the team is working to finalize their roster for the upcoming year.

Here are the latest headlines out of Mesa for the North Siders.

Christopher Morel, come on down

The big news on Saturday came as Craig Counsell evaluated his options at third base for the North Siders, with Christopher Morel’s name figuring prominently in that conversation.

Counsell hinted at the idea of giving Morel time at the hot corner during the offseason, and now that the team has reported to Mesa, he is still sounding those same notes.

“Let’s evaluate that as we go, but let’s give him a chance at third base, let’s give him some consistency at third base,” he said. “See where we’re at roster-wise at some point in camp and then go forward from there.”

The Cubs don’t really have a locked-in candidate at third base, but do still have Nick Madrigal and Patrick Wisdom on their roster.

The club also could look to sign a player in the free agent market, as Matt Chapman remains available, but the team seems focused on in-house solutions at this time.

Another thing to mention in terms of Chapman’s attractiveness to the Cubs: Matt Shaw is speeding through the team’s farm system, and could end up ascending to the big league level by the 2025 season, leaving the team a bit hesitant to make a big financial decision at the position.

No dice on former Gold Glover?

-The Cubs may be evaluating their options in center field, but it does not appear that they are going to target at least one option on the free agent market.

According to Patrick Mooney of The Athletic, the Cubs will not be targeting Michael A. Taylor, who won the Gold Glove award in the American League in 2021.

Taylor spent last season with the Minnesota Twins, with 21 home runs and 51 RBI’s to go along with 13 stolen bases.

Despite his skill as a baserunner and defender, Taylor seems to be behind players like Pete Crow-Armstrong and Mike Tauchman in the Cubs’ eyes.

Will the Cubs ever host another All-Star Game?

It feels like it’s been an eternity since the team has hosted, last doing so in 1990, but commissioner Rob Manfred says the club is in position to land the game in either 2027 or 2028.

The commissioner said he’s influenced by when a team last hosted a game, and whether they’re “willing” to step up on issues of security and facilities related to their hosting duties.

Toronto was also mentioned as a future site, as the Blue Jays haven’t hosted since 1991 and are also undertaking a massive renovation of the SkyDome.

The next three years’ worth of games are already set, with the Rangers’ new stadium in Arlington hosting the 2024 contest. Atlanta will play host in 2025 after having the 2021 game moved to Denver, and then Philadelphia will host in 2026 as part of the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

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