Chicago Cubs: Crosstown Cup will be a heavyweight slugfest in 2020
While the Chicago Cubs remain quiet, their Windy City counterparts have been making some noise of their own with recent free agent splashes.
Oh, how the tables have turned. Of course, we had some idea these moves made by the Chicago Cubs front office could lead to the situation at hand. There isn’t much breathing room at the moment but the team is not drowning.
Once at the top of the division (and the baseball world, for that matter) the Cubs find themselves needing to improve and carry on with their current mix of players. It may not be easy, however, we should not ignore the amount of talent David Ross holds in his possession.
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Some of these individuals still have room to improve. Several are capable of putting together a breakout campaign like Javier Baez did in each of the past two seasons. El Mago has emerged as the building block for this organization and will likely be kept in place for the future.
Fans would not argue with that move at all. While stressing out what decisions Theo Epstein will be making, all eyes have been on Rick Renteria and the White Sox. Currently, the former Cubs skipper is walking on sunshine given the offseason his organization has had thus far.
It started with catcher Yasmani Grandal, who signed a four-year contract on November 21, leading to Jose Abreu‘s three-year restructured extension. Of course, fans on the North Side remain hopeful of something similar for Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo.
Shortly following the arrival of Grandal, Rick Hahn continued to reel in fresh faces by trading for outfielder Nomar Mazara and signing pitchers Gio Gonzalez and Dallas Keuchel. Two men who have pitched and won a World Series title within several years; most recent would be Gonzalez.
Not to mention, landing designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion. Immediately, the White Sox appear to be the powerhouse of the Windy City, aiming to leave the Cubbies behind in their wake.
Better of two halves?
These moves have sparked some trash talk amongst fans via social media, making the 2020 Crosstown Cup an even bigger series than previous showdowns. On July 7-8, Ross and company will visit Eloy Jimenez right before the All-Star Break. This also leads to a road trip that features a battle with Cole Hamels and the Braves that weekend.
Following a second-half home set with Cincinnati, it’ll be time for White Sox to wear visiting uniforms. Surely, eyes across the league will have an eye on this matchup that involves a new-look Sox team determined to make a postseason run while the Cubs prove they still have what it takes to make a run into October.
Leading into this year’s matchup, the Sox hold a 62-60 regular-season record over the Cubs and won their last meeting by the final score of 3-1 at Guaranteed Rate Park. No punches will be held and you can surely expect Jimenez, Baez and even Tim Anderson to exchange a few words at some point.
Obviously, the two fanbases will continue their banter per usual, let’s just be sure to keep it at a non-violent level. At the end of the day, baseball in Chicago is evolving yet again and provides the promise of a brighter future on both sides.
As a whole, both organizations have delivered this marvelous city six World Series titles, 23 League pennants, 28 postseason and 16 World Series appearances.
Perhaps these two clubs could have themselves a rematch of the 1906 World Series in which the Sox would take four games to two. We can only hope and pray to the baseball gods for such an encounter within our lifetime.