Chicago Cubs: For the Cubbies, it’s “who’s on second?”

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 26: Adam Frazier #26 of the Pittsburgh Pirates steals second base ahead of a tag attempt by Addison Russell #27 of the Chicago Cubs in the sixth inning during the game at PNC Park on September 26, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 26: Adam Frazier #26 of the Pittsburgh Pirates steals second base ahead of a tag attempt by Addison Russell #27 of the Chicago Cubs in the sixth inning during the game at PNC Park on September 26, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: For the Cubbies, it’s “who’s on second?”

Mr. X

There is one final option: None of the above.

Two scenarios bring this option into play. The first is the presence of Ian Happ on the roster. Although currently envisioned as a platoon option with Albert Almora in center field, that approach isn’t ideal for either player’s development.  Happ has experience at second base: he started nine games there last season and 37 since his 2017 callup.

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The Chicago Cubs sentenced Happ to the minors last spring and he languished there until his late-July recall. He hit. 264 with 11 home runs the rest of the season, renewing the Cubs hopes that he can be counted on this year.

If Almora and Happ both have strong springs, Ross could elect to slot Happ in at second, particularly if none of the other options look appealing.

The second scenario involves the potential trade of Bryant, particularly if it brings a major league-ready second base candidate back in return. In that scenario, the returnee fills the void at second, Bote slots in at third, Hoerner ships to Triple-A, Kipnis flunks out and who knows what becomes of Descalso.

The variant on that scenario kicks in if, rather than a second baseman, Bryant fetches a major league-ready third base prospect. Then Bode locks in at second.

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Likelihood of somebody else as the opening day second baseman: 14 percent.