Chicago Cubs: Change is coming – and the NL Central is ready to battle

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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: The lowly Pirates are a sinking ship – yet again

Much like the Reds, the Pittsburgh Pirates look to rebuild and will probably struggle as a franchise for a while. While the product as a whole may not produce very many wins, there are some players I am excited to see in 2020.

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The first being Starling Marte. This guy is a freak athlete who has shown he can perform at an all star level. Even if he only spends half the year there, you could get something for Marte at the deadline from a club looking for a missing piece.

Chris Archer, the former Tampa Bay Rays pitcher now finds himself at the mercy of the front office with a $9 million team option. I don’t think there is any reason to bring back Archer. He has not played well since 2015 and is not worth that kind of money.

Another Pirates pitcher that has an interesting case is Jameson Taillon. Taillon is a guy who has struggled with battling cancer and various other injuries as a developing baseball player. With that said, when he is healthy he has shown flashes of greatness. Taillon tore his UCL and required Tommy John surgery which will keep him out of baseball through 2020.

Because this is his arbitration year, the Pirates may be able to lock him down semi-long term for cheap. Taillon has wipeout stuff and if he can come back from injury and pitch like he used to, he could be a real threat to NL Central hitters.

The Pirates spotlight is going firmly on Cubs killer Josh Bell. The young mashing first baseman is entering arbitration and will likely make a decent chunk of change because of his power numbers. I still wake up every once in a while in a cold sweat thinking about that Cubs-Pirates series in early August when he hit a homer every time he touched a bat.

Next. Darvish could doom the Cubs if he opts out of his deal. dark

If he can continue the success he had this season, especially in the first half, He could establish himself as a premier offensive first basemen. I see the Pirates coming in last in 2020 due to holes in every facet of their game and a new manager learning the ropes.