Chicago Cubs: Yasmani Grandal deal could mean a power shift in Chicago

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs will face competition for the city’s attention

By no means do I expect the Chicago Cubs to take a major step in the wrong direction in 2020. At the very worst (I hope), they’d be a .500 team in the hunt for a Wild Card spot. That being said, the White Sox are clearly trending up after a 2019 campaign that saw several guys take big steps forward.

Last week, longtime first baseman and DH Jose Abreu accepted the team’s qualifying offer, so he’ll return next year – along with his 123 RBI and 119 OPS+. Tim Anderson won the batting title somewhat quietly, while emerging as a passionate face of the franchise alongside fellow middle infielder Yoan Moncada, who ripped 25 home runs to go along with his .367 on-base percentage.

Of course, former Cubs top prospect Eloy Jimenez, who headed to the South Side in the Jose Quintana deal back in 2017, made his long-awaited debut, as well, hitting 31 home runs in his first taste of the bigs.

Given the fact the Sox could call up the likes of Nick Madrigal (#40 on MLB Top 100) and Luis Robert (#3 on MLB Top 100)  – this is a lineup that has the potential to be downright lethal in 2020. But where this team will decide its fate is on the mound.

Lucas Giolito emerged as an ace this season, finishing sixth in AL Cy Young voting thanks to his 176 2/3 innings of 3.43 FIP ball. But where the team turns from there remains to be seen. Michael Kopech will return from injury next year – and former Cubs prospect Dylan Cease seems likely to play a part, as well. But the long and short of it is this: this team needs more proven, dependable arms if they want to make a run at the American League Central.