The Chicago Cubs have missed the playoffs in each of the last two seasons, and with ownership publicly stating that they would open up their pocketbook, the team has dramatically retooled itself over the offseason.
With moves both large, as in the case of signing shortstop Dansby Swanson, and small, acquiring Miles Mastrobuoni in a trade with Tampa Bay, the North Siders hope to be a much more competitive team in the coming season, and there are a lot of new faces for fans to get to know.
To help, here is a recap of the team’s offseason moves so far.
The Cubs needed a new catcher after the departure of Willson Contreras, and they got one when they signed Barnhart to a two-year deal worth $6.5 million.
Barnhart played with the Detroit Tigers last season, with one home run and 16 RBI’s in 308 plate-appearances. He is a two-time Gold Glove winner.
The Cubs are rolling the dice on 2019 NL MVP Bellinger, who signed a one-year deal worth $12.5 million. The contract carries a $25 million option, or a $5 million buyout, for the 2024 season as well.
Bellinger has struggled badly at the plate in recent years, with a .210 average to go along with 19 home runs and 14 stolen bases with the Dodgers last season.
The Cubs added some bullpen help when they signed Boxberger to a one-year, $2.8 million contract.
Boxberger spent the last two seasons with the Brewers, posting a 2.95 ERA and striking out 68 batters in 64 innings of work.
Hosmer joins the Cubs on a league-minimum contract after spending last season with the San Diego Padres and Boston red Sox. He hit a combined .268 with eight home runs and 44 RBI’s in 419 plate appearances with the two clubs.
Mancini signed a two-year, $14 million contract with the Cubs that includes an opt-out after the first season.
The first baseman hit 10 home runs with the Orioles before being traded to Houston, but he struggled badly with the eventual World Series champs, batting just .176 with eight home runs in 186 plate appearances.
The Cubs acquired Mastrobuoni in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays earlier this offseason, giving them another option in the middle infield.
He made his MLB debut with the Rays last season, with three hits and a stolen base in 16 total at-bats.
Swanson was the biggest-ticket free agent the Cubs inked this offseason, signing to a seven-year contract worth $177 million.
The first overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft, Swanson had a strong run with the Braves, and it came to a head last season when he made his first All-Star Game appearance and won his first career Gold Glove. He hit 25 home runs and drove in 96 RBI’s while stealing 18 bases for the Braves.
Taillon was the big addition to the Cubs’ rotation, inking a four-year deal worth $68 million.
He had one of the best seasons of his career with the New York Yankees in 2022, with a 14-5 record and a 3.91 ERA in 32 starts. He struck out 151 batters and walked just 32 in 177.1 innings for the Bronx Bombers.
After a successful run with the Cubs, Contreras has joined the rival St. Louis Cardinals on a five-year, $87.5 million contract.
He hit 22 home runs and drove in 55 RBI’s in 487 plate appearances last season, and was named to his third National League All-Star team.
The Cubs announced during the 2022 season that they would cut ties with Heyward, who signed an eight-year, $184 million contract with them prior to the 2015 season. He had one year left on the deal, and has since signed a league-minimum minor-league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Cubs designated Higgins for assignment earlier this offseason, but after outrighting him to Triple-A Iowa, the catcher ultimately signed a deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks with an invite to spring training.
Mark Leiter Jr.
After outrighting Leiter to Triple-A Iowa, the hurler instead elected free agency.
In 35 total appearances with the Cubs last season, Leiter had a 3.99 ERA with 73 strikeouts and 25 walks in 67.2 innings.
The Cubs opted not to bring Miley back for the 2023 campaign, and he signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the Milwaukee Brewers. The veteran lefty appeared in just nine games for the Cubs last season, with a 3.16 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 37 innings.
After being outrighted to Triple-A Iowa, Rivas agreed to a minor-league contract with the San Diego Padres with an invitation to spring training.
Rivas appeared in 101 games for the Cubs last season, with a .322 on-base percentage and 25 RBI’s in 287 plate appearances.
Uelman was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for cash in early January.
He made his MLB debut last season, appearing in 25 games for the Cubs. He posted a 4.67 ERA and struck out 21 batters in 27 innings of work.