Chicago Cubs: The Addison Russell suspension could lead to offseason decisions

MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 05: Addison Russell #27 of the Chicago Cubs anticipates a pitch during a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on September 5, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 05: Addison Russell #27 of the Chicago Cubs anticipates a pitch during a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on September 5, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – SEPTEMBER 29: Manny Machhado #8 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws the ball to first base to get the out of Joe Panik #12 of the San Francisco Giants in the bottom of the first inning at AT&T Park on September 29, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs options: Going big

There would be no bigger move in the 2018-2019 offseason than signing Manny Machado. Machado is likely going to require a deal paying over $30 million annually for 8-10 years, an incredible investment for the Cubs. Then there’s the issue of his position.

The Cubs have Kris Bryant at third and Javy Baez (if Russell is moved) to man shortstop. If they brought in Machado, he could handle shortstop, but seemingly, he’d be a step down defensively from keeping Baez at the position, and certainly so from keeping Baez at SS, moving Bryant to the outfield, and putting Machado at third, where he’s one of the elite 3B defenders in the league.

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Regardless of position, getting a player who is just 26 on Opening Day 2019 coming off of 4 straight 30+ home run seasons and a career .282 average would be an asset for the Cubs and worth the coin needed to bring him to Wrigley.

Now that you’re plenty hyped up, the other options will seem like a significant let-down, but a player like Daniel Murphy, Brian Dozier, or DJ LeMahieu manning the keystone would give the Cubs a tremendous second base option, and with Dozier or LeMahieu, you could also have a guy like Murphy did for the Cubs that finds his way at the top of the lineup. Dozier and LeMahieu are significantly better defenders than Murphy, but Murphy has been in the clubhouse and is 3-4 years older than the other two, so he could require a shorter term in his contract, feasibly going for 2-3 years, while the other two likely are wanting 3+ for sure.

Another interesting route the Cubs could go is to sign Josh Donaldson. Bringing in Donaldson would put a definite starter at third base and allow Bryant to play the outfield while taking time at first and third base, while Zobrist could focus at second base. With his injuries in 2018, it’d require a pretty amazing postseason for Donaldson to be paid the way he would have been coming into free agency after 2016 or even 2017, so he could be a bargain price that deepens the lineup and allows Baez to stay at short.

Next. Maddon deserves to return in 2019. dark

Which route do you think the Chicago Cubs should go this offseason? Any one of the above could certainly make sense for the team, so let us know by commenting below!