The Chicago Cubs are not quite done putting the final touches on their roster.
Chairman Tom Ricketts told the Tribune Friday the team’s 2023 payroll would be close to the $233 million Competitive Balance Tax (CBT) threshold. The addition Saturday of first baseman/designated hitter Trey Mancini leaves the Cubs roughly $16 million below the initial CBT tier.
Mancini, who turns 31 in March, will reportedly have an opt out in his deal after the 2023 season as part of his two-year agreement with the Cubs. Mancini and the lefty hitting Eric Hosmer give manager David Ross a platoon option at first base, with the DH spot an opportunity to get both players at-bats.
Mancini struggled after the Baltimore Orioles traded him to Houston in August, posting a 75 OPS+ and .258 on-base percentage in 51 games.
Mancini brings extra-bases potential to a lineup that needs proven power hitters. In 2019, his best season, Mancini tallied 38 doubles and 35 home runs with a 134 OPS+ in 154 games. He did not play in 2020 as he battled stage 3 colon cancer.
First base prospect Matt Mervis’ path to make the team out of spring training becomes more difficult now with the Mancini signing. A hot start to the season at Triple-A Iowa by the lefty slugger could force a promotion.
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