One player whom they've expressed interest in is second baseman Scooter Gennett, sources said. He has recently worked out for a number of teams, including the Cubs.
Gennett, 29, was limited to 42 games in 2019 primarily because of a severe groin strain that he suffered at the end of spring training. He was traded from the Reds to the Giants in July before San Francisco released him in August. When he did play last season, he struggled in hitting .226 with two homers, 11 RBIs, a .245 on-base percentage and a .568 OPS.
If the Cubs add the lefty-swinging Gennett, they'll be looking for him to recapture some of the magic that he produced in 2017 and 2018, over which he hit a combined 50 homers. In his last health season, Gennett had 23 homers, 92 RBIs and an .847 OPS in an All-Star campaign in 2018.
The Cubs continue to search for infield depth after they non-tendered shortstop Addison Russell back in early December. The team's first-round pick in the 2018 amateur draft, Nico Hoerner impressed in a nice debut stint last September, when he played shortstop with Javier Baez sidelined by a thumb injury. Hoerner should factor into the equation at second base this season, but the Cubs front office is still debating whether Hoerner needs more experience in the minor leagues after playing just 109 professional games.
Veteran second baseman Daniel Descalso remains under contract for one more season but was both injured and ineffective in 2019. Beyond him on the active roster, David Bote and Ian Happ each have experience playing second base. Hernan Perez will be a non-roster invitee to spring training who's a strong candidate to make the 25-man roster as a backup second baseman, shortstop and third baseman.
Gennett could potentially be a low-risk signing for the Cubs who carries some upside if he can stay healthy. Other free-agent infielders whom the Cubs could consider include Brock Holt, Jason Kipnis and Brian Dozier.