Chicago Cubs need Anthony Rizzo to lead and help create new identity

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Through it all, Rizzo stands tall

On any given day during the season, set foot in Wrigley Field – you’ll see more Rizzo jerseys on the backs of fans than perhaps any other player. He’s become a legend in his own right at the Friendly Confines and rightfully so – he came into his own with the franchise and helped bring a World Series title to a fan base that had longed for one for over a century.

But there’s work to be done.

If you ask Tom Ricketts or Theo Epstein, change is afoot this offseason. Maddon is out and Ross is in as manager. The coaching staff seems likely to undergo some major changes, as is the front office. Brian Butterfield and Tim Buss are joining Maddon in Southern California – and the turnover won’t stop there.

Most of the team’s bullpen will test free agency, including Strop, Steve Cishek and Brandon Kintzler. Cole Hamels also seems likely to move on in one way or another after a year-plus on the North Side. Chicago may move on from former first-rounders Addison Russell and Albert Almora, not to mention they could potential trade a cornerstone like Kris Bryant or Willson Contreras.

The one man I just can’t imagine the team trading? Rizzo.