The Chicago Cubs will have much to address this offseason, but it’s still far too early to worry they won’t do enough or sign the right pieces.
The hot stove is not even warm yet and already some red flags have come up that have left the future of the Chicago Cubs in question. From apparent attempts to cut payroll to get below the luxury tax to shopping Willson Contreras, the North Siders are at a seeming loss of positive news as of late.
Add to this recent MLB Trade Rumors articles in which readers and the authors predicted who would sign where, and it only seems to get worse. Both articles pinned the Cubs as the front-runners for none of the top ten free agents, even losing out to the White Sox for Nicholas Castellanos. Yikes.
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Yet, taking all of this at face value will do no good since we’re just getting into the offseason. The fact of the matter is this: no big moves have been made and they probably won’t be made for a while.
This isn’t to say that the Cubs will sign a Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, or Anthony Rendon, but to count them out of the race this early when there are no substantial rumors or information is silly. Sure, payroll concerns might sound a little terrifying, but it’s still to be seen how the team will behave the closer to spring training they get.
Perhaps the predictions could be right and the Cubs don’t get anyone substantial in free agency, but none of this factors in the likelihood that the team will be active on the trade market. Considering one of their core four could be on the move, alongside others like Albert Almora or Kyle Schwarber, the team likely could address their concerns without an impact signing.
Let’s say predictions are correct and Kyle Gibson and Will Harris are indeed the Cubs’ big free agency acquisitions. Is it really that bad considering the likelihood of a trade? Harris in particular had a dominant 2019 season, posting a 1.50 ERA in 60 innings pitched for the Astros in relief and Gibson, despite his struggles, could be an interesting depth piece for the team.
The point is that there is little reason to worry about the Chicago Cubs this early in the offseason considering all that’s being done is speculation. There will be rumors, both true and false, and speculation that may frighten us, but until we know anything for certain, we might as well know nothing at all.