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According to two MLB insiders, the starting shortstop for the Chicago Cubs is likely to be one of two free agents.
It won’t be Carlos Correa prowling the infield grass at Wrigley Field around 81 times in 2022 calling himself the starting shortstop for the Chicago Cubs. With the team focused more on relief pitchers than Correa, it’s time to start looking at some more realistic options.
This winter has—and still does—include some of the best shortstops out there available in free agency. The Cubs are in the midst of a semi-rebuild which means guys like Correa are probably not coming to the Northside this winter.
Fortunately, there are still guys out there. A pair of MLB insiders share the opinion on who the two most realistic options could be.
MLB insiders name Jose Iglesias and Jonathan Villar as realistic shortstop options for the Cubs in 2022
During a recent chat at The Athletic, Sahadev Sharma and Patrick Mooney were asked a big question many people in Chicago are wondering: who’s at shortstop?
The answer isn’t “I Don’t Care” as Abbott and Costello may have you believe. Cubs fans do care which is why this is one of the most burning questions for the franchise this winter.
Separately, Sharma and Mooney each delivered the names Jose Iglesias and Jonathan Villar. On the second or maybe even third tier of available free agent shortstops, it’s a much more temporary solution for the position than anything permanent.
Iglesias spent last season with the Los Angeles Angels and Boston Red Sox. Combined, he slashed .271/.309/.391. He was especially good for his 64 plate appearances with Boston, hitting .356/.406/.508. A light-hitter with declining defensive numbers, Iglesias has been a journeyman shortstop for the last several seasons. Since 2019 he has played for the Angels, Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, and Baltimore Orioles. He hasn’t spent more than a single season with any team.
Villar could very well be on his way to doing the same. Last season with the Mets, he found himself playing a lot of third base. He, too, has been swapping uniforms regularly with four teams in the last three seasons as well. A curious hitter, Villar managed to belt 18 home runs and drive in 42 for the Mets in an offense without much firepower. He slashed .249/.322/.416 at the plate while helping the team survive the absence of J.D. Davis and even temporarily filling in at shortstop when Francisco Lindor hit the injured list.
Neither Iglesias nor Villar will probably have Cubs fans rushing out to buy season tickets. Better role players than anything else, it looks like the club isn’t fully committed to winning just yet.