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Could the Cubs’ defense be a useful tool to recruit free agent pitchers?

3 months agoTony Andracki

The Cubs are coming off a historic season in which they boasted 3 Gold Glove winners for the first time in the franchise’s tenure.

Dansby Swanson (shortstop) and Nico Hoerner (second base) form the best defensive middle infield in the game while Ian Happ won his second straight Gold Glove in left field.

Could that standout defense be a useful tool in Jed Hoyer’s arsenal to recruit free agent pitchers to come to Chicago?

That’s a point Cole Wright and Bruce Levine discussed on Cubs 360 Thursday evening.

“Right now, the agents and the players themselves, when they’re going toward free agency, they make note of what type of defenses are behind them and what’s going to be successful if they’re ground ball pitchers,” Levine said.

The Cubs entered 2023 knowing their success would come down to pitching and defense. They wound up having a very solid offensive season but the defense was the calling card all year.

With the additions of Swanson and Cody Bellinger plus Nick Madrigal’s strong defense at third base, the Cubs saw a major increase in defensive production from 2022 to 2023:

Cubs Defense Slide 360

Moving into 2024, the anchor up the middle is back with Swanson and Hoerner plus veteran defensive stalwart Yan Gomes. Bellinger might still return but if he doesn’t, Mike Tauchman played good defense in center in 2023 and will be back. Plus top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong – an elite defender – could be in Chicago from Day 1.

So what pitchers might make sense to add to the Cubs staff in 2024? And could the Cubs add more impact defenders to this team?

Wright and Levine break it down on Cubs 360. Check out the full video on the Marquee Sports Network app.

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