Chicago Cubs: Five reasons the team’s dynasty isn’t over just yet

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MAY 07: (L-R) Albert Almora Jr #5, Javier Baez #9, s #12 and Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs wait for Kris Bryant #17 to cross the plate after he hit the game-winning three run home run in the bottom of the 9th inning against the Miami Marlins at Wrigley Field on May 07, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Marlins 5-2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MAY 07: (L-R) Albert Almora Jr #5, Javier Baez #9, s #12 and Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs wait for Kris Bryant #17 to cross the plate after he hit the game-winning three run home run in the bottom of the 9th inning against the Miami Marlins at Wrigley Field on May 07, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Marlins 5-2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs: A full season of Kimbrel could work out much differently

One of the more incendiary or volatile pieces on a Major League team is and has always been the bullpen. Turnover, injuries, guys having bad years, dumpster-diving, and some pieces getting older created the imperfect storm for the Cubs in 2019, but there’s no reason why that can’t be turned around for a great pen in 2020.

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With the probable departure of guys like Pedro Strop, Steve Cishek, and Brandon Morrow, the Cubs pen will look totally different in 2020. Anchored at the back-end by Craig Kimbrel, the 2020 bullpen will feature a younger and (hopefully) harder-throwing core that could be primed to have a bounce back year.

Younger arms like Rowan Wick, Brad Wieck, Kyle Ryan, Duane Underwood Jr., Justin Steele, Alec Mills, Dillon Maples, James Norwood, and even Adbert Alzolay are all in the mix for a bullpen that could be more powerful and a lot cheaper.

With that power-armed pen and less of a hit in the wallet, Theo Epstein might be able to use that savings for a free-agent rotation ace like Cole, or an elite position-player pick-up like Anthony Rendon or Nicholas Castellanos.

With a likely “Iowa Shuttle” in full effect in 2020, the influx of younger and cheaper arms can’t be a whole lot worse than the pen at times in 2019. Plus, with a full season of Kimbrel, who should be able to get himself ready with a normal ramp-up, 2020 could look like a polar opposite.

Next. What will happen in 2020 with Schwarber?. dark

While 2020 may seem like a long way away and 2019 still a bitterly close memory, just remember that how you view the team’s current “window of contention” depends on your perspective. The idea of this group of group creating a dynasty is still within reach and could still very well happen with the right tweaks and additions for 2020. Buckle up and get ready for the most important offseason the Chicago Cubs have had since 2015.

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