Chicago Cubs Sign World Champion Free Agent

The Chicago Cubs have signed their second free agent veteran first baseman of the month, coming to terms on a two-year, $14M deal with former Baltimore Oriole and Houston Astro 1B/OF, Trey Mancini. 

Mancini gets an opt-out after year one if he reaches the 350 plate-appearance plateau, and also has some incentives built in that could earn him an additional $7M, according to Insider Jon Heyman.  

The 30-year-old Mancini is one of the feel-good stories of baseball this decade, beating cancer in 2020, and coming back in 2021 to hit 21 HR with a .758 OPS for the Orioles. He was dealt at the trade deadline last season to the Astros, where he went on to take part in the team's World Series victory. 

He didn't perform as well overall in 2022 as he had the year before, finishing with a .239 average, a .710 OPS, 18 HR, and a league-average OPS+ of 101. Thus, the opt-out for him if he has a big year to re-establish his market value.

The Cubs also signed veteran Eric Hosmer earlier this month, and Cody Bellinger in December, both of whom play first base as well. While Belli will likely plant himself in center field, Mancini is a younger, higher-floor option than Hosmer, though both could see time at first and DH, and possibly some OF for Mancini as well.

Photo: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports