1.) A lot of outfield practice for Kyle Schwarber
This one speaks for itself. Schwarber was drafted as a catcher, but the Cubs just traded for Miguel Montero last winter. It will be difficult to flip Montero again, and that may not be the best move anyway, as Schwarber may be a bigger liability behind the plate than in left field. The Cubs can live with Schwarber bull-in-a-china-shopping his way around the outfield if he hits 40 bombs, which is a real possibility.
I had opined last week that a Schwarber for Sonny Gray swap made some sense for the Cubs, but that trade coming to fruition is highly unlikely. In only 259 total at-bats (counting the postseason), Schwarber has 21 home runs against big league pitching. In a tiny ballpark like Wrigley, the 2014 first rounder projects easily to 40-plus home runs over a full season. Defense is the only issue holding Schwarber back from being a complete player. While he will probably never win a Gold Glove, Schwarber has the athletic ability to become a neutral rather than a negative in defensive run prevention. It’s just going to take a lot of outfield drills over the winter.