As you know, Nick Madrigal had an injury-filled 2022 season with the Cubs that resulted in him playing just 59 games and batting .249/.305/.282 (52-for-209) with seven extra-base hits, all doubles.
This, obviously, wasn’t what anyone would have wanted from Madrigal, who was the first-round pick (fourth overall) of the White Sox in 2018 from Oregon State.
Now, with the Cubs signing Dansby Swanson to play shortstop and Nico Hoerner thus sliding over to play second base, that would seem to leave Madrigal as odd-man-out.
Madrigal has options remaining so conceivably he could be sent to Triple-A Iowa to play second base there to start the 2023 season. Josh Timmers had a look at some other possible choices the Cubs have for Madrigal in BCB After Dark overnight.
I’ve decided to go a bit deeper into the “trade him” idea — especially since a couple of teams could use a second baseman. For example:
Current team with Story injured, as updated by @soxprospects.— Red Sox Payroll (@redsoxpayroll) January 10, 2023
If the Devers contract kicks in for 2023 as reported, the team has $3-4MM to spend under the first CBT threshold. pic.twitter.com/3iAcvXeghV
Red Sox infielder Trevor Story has undergone a surgical procedure that will keep him out for four to six months. He’s shown as an “inactive hitter” above.
Boston could use both a starting second baseman and starting shortstop, based on that depth chart.
The other “Sox” team could also use a second baseman. The White Sox depth chart currently lists Leury Garcia, Lenyn Sosa and Romy Gonzalez at second base.
Garcia has been a pretty good player for the White Sox for the last several years, but a) he had an even worse offensive season than Madrigal did in 2022, with a .500 OPS over 315 PA and b) if he’s hitting well, he likely has more value to the Sox as a super-utility player.
Sosa had a good year in the Sox system in 2022 (.315/.369/.511 with 23 home runs in 115 games), but is just 22 and it’s unclear whether this would translate to the major leagues. He went 4-for-35 in a brief trial for the major league club.
Gonzalez has a .611 OPS in 142 MLB plate appearances over 42 games in 2021 and 2022.
It would seem that the Red Sox have a stronger need for a second baseman at this time. This article by Chad Jennings in The Athletic speculates that Madrigal could fill Boston’s requirements:
It’s more speculative, but Cubs second baseman Nick Madrigal could fall into a similar category (he doesn’t have an obvious everyday job after the addition of Dansby Swanson)
I don’t know the minor league system for either Sox team very well, but it would seem Madrigal would be worth the proverbial “A ball lottery ticket pitcher” who often winds up in trades for guys with the sort of MLB experience Madrigal has.
I hope Jed Hoyer is at least exploring a trade involving Madrigal, whether it be with the Red Sox, White Sox or any of the 27 other teams.
This poll is closed
... the Cubs should trade him to the Red Sox
... the Cubs should trade him to the White Sox
... the Cubs should trade him to a different team
... the Cubs should send him to Triple-A Iowa to start the season
Something else (leave in comments)