2016 will be a year that each and every fan of the Cubs will remember for the rest of their life. From being on top of the world to almost losing the World Series, the team ultimately fought back to win the first World Series title in 108 years, bringing an enormous amount of joy to the North Side of Chicago.
Going into the offseason, it was expected that there would be a good number of players who were going to depart from the team. A few players who left the team: Jorge Soler, Chris Coghlan, David Ross, Aroldis Chapman, Dexter Fowler, Jason Hammel, Trevor Cahill and Travis Wood. Everyone else weren't really key contributers to the Cubs' World Series run so it is not hard to see them leave. The Cubs also have acquired a good amount of players this off season.
Wade Davis (RP)
Closer Wade Davis made the full-time switch to the closing job in 2016 for the Kansas City Royals with 27 saves in 30 opportunites, while going 2-1, allowing just nine earned runs, in 43 and 1/3 innings pitched. He has shown in the past that he is indeed a quality relief pitcher, shining in both the set-up role and as a closer. The only thing that worries some about Davis is his vulnerability to injury.
If Davis were to stay healthy all year and be able to transition from playing in the A.L. to the N.L., he will be an absolute ace in the pen. Now, if he were to start getting riddled with injuries, that would pose a potential threat to the Cubs' bullpen, assuming Montgomery goes into the rotation, as the loss of Travis Wood could leave the Cubs' pen vulnerable.
Jon Jay (CF)
Jon Jay, former San Diego Padres' outfielder, has proven to be one of the more useful outfielders in the league. Assuming he will take over most of the reps that Soler had when on the Cubs, he will most likely start anywhere from 60-70 games in a possible bench job. During the last season, he put up a decent amount of numbers but nothing really in the sense of slugging, which fits the Cubs' system very well.
The Cubs aren't much of a long ball team, but they will beat you with base hit after base hit. In 2016, Jon Jay compiled 101 hits, while hitting two home runs, driving in 26 runs and scoring 49 runs. After looking at the numbers, he has the ability to get base hits but he has not hit a large amount of home runs. Seeing how he is moving to a team like the Cubs, where he will most likely get more opportunities with men in scoring position, he should bring up his RBI total.
Koji Uehara (RP)
Coming over from the Boston Red Sox, Koji Uehara, a relief pitcher, didn't post attractive numbers, playing in 50 games and compiling a 2-3 record on the season with a 3.45 ERA. That isn't the best confidence booster.
However, he is not in the closer's role... he will be setting up for Wade Davis, so not all the weight will be on his shoulders, as it was when he had to fill in as closer when Craig Kimbrel was hurt in 2016.
Looking over all the acquisitions over the off season, the Cubs didn't acquire too much in the way of offensive players. However, seeing that their offense will most likely be better than last year's offense, it doesn't really affect their overall grade on the off season. What the Cubs did need was pitching both in the pen and in the rotation, having Montgomery most likely being the fifth starter, while also losing Cahill, Wood and Chapman.
The Cubs needed multiple guys to bolster the pen and they did just that. My final judgment on the offseason: They didn't do much but filled what needed to be filled. So, my final grading on the Cubs' offseason is a B-.