Chicago Cubs: Are they in it to win it or focused on the future?
The Cubs’ current competitive window seems likely to close in the next two years. That is, if the team’s roster construction doesn’t shift dramatically (which seems pretty likely given the state of things).
The likeliest of said shifts? Bryant playing elsewhere in 2020 and beyond. The team could, at least in theory, extend that window in flipping him for prospects. But what message does that send to the team this year? There’s no way you’re replacing his contributions in the lineup on a daily basis, turning to someone like David Bote in the interim.
I’m not saying Chicago can’t trade Kris Bryant and get a return that can at least be stomached. But should that be the bar we set in trading a franchise-caliber player? It seems like the wrong mentality to have – especially when the immediate future of the franchise may hang in the balance.
The offseason has been quiet so far, but I don’t suspect that will last. Once there is a clear resolution on Bryant’s service time grievance, things could pick up steam quickly and, one way or another, we’ll know what the future looks like.