Chicago Cubs: Imagine a franchise icon with the St. Louis Cardinals
With the Dodgers rumored to have interest in longtime Giants ace Madison Bumgarner, it made me think about today’s Cubs joining their biggest rivals.
Who’s ready for things to crank up a notch in 2020 when the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers do battle out west? If the latest rumors connecting the Dodgers to Madison Bumgarner come to fruition, things could get ugly in a hurry between the two sides and their respective fanbases.
According to Ken Rosenthal, Los Angeles has turned its attention to the big workhorse in the wake of missing out in the Gerrit Cole sweepstakes. The Dodgers have had no shortage of NL West crowns or postseason berths in recent years – but getting that elusive World Series ring has proved difficult.
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Bumgarner’s storied postseason career undoubtedly plays a role in the team’s interest. Over the years, the southpaw carries a 2.11 ERA spanning 102 1/3 innings. That includes an unthinkable 0.25 ERA in 36 frames during three Fall Classics. In short, this guy has proven time and time again that he’s built for the big moments and the bright lights.
Reportedly seeking a nine-figure deal, Bumgarner would add to an already formidable Dodgers staff. Alongside Clayton Kershaw, the North Carolina native would form one of the most imposing one-two punches in the game today.
But this got me thinking. In a few short years, we could see a similar situation play out with several members of the Chicago Cubs core hitting free agency. The likes of Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras, Kyle Schwarber and Albert Almora could all move on in the next few seasons.
What if we had to watch one of them jump ship and join the St. Louis Cardinals?
It was bad enough seeing Dexter Fowler lead the team to a title, only to depart for Busch Stadium and a five-year, $82.5 million deal. That was at least somewhat acceptable simply because that was a lot of money even for his skillset. But imagine if ownership opened up the wallet down the road and brought in the likes of Bryant or Schwarber.
I can’t imagine seeing any of these guys in a Redbirds uniform. I mean, if we’re being honest, we might not even have to wait that long – Jon Lester could be a free agent after the upcoming 2020 campaign and if the Cubs don’t want to bring him back, he could conceivably find a home somewhere like St. Louis or Milwaukee.
Now, we have no reason to suspect this or even ponder about it really – but given Tuesday’s news about the team declining to talk about an extension with Rizzo and the ongoing trade rumors swirling around Contreras and Bryant, it’s making such a possibility feel much more possible than I’d like to admit.