Chicago Cubs: Three bold predictions for the upcoming season

Kris Bryant / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Kris Bryant / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Willson Contreras / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Yelich extension hurts the Cubs in more ways than one

With the Cubs stuck in between winning a title and completely rebuilding, Epstein will have to press exactly the right buttons and pull the proper levels ahead of this year’s trade deadline.

He’ll wind up trading Kris Bryant – and the return won’t be enough to satiate Cubs fans, either. That won’t be the only move Chicago makes, as Jose Quintana joins a contender for the stretch run. That brings us to the news that will make fans happy – a contract extension with Willson Contreras.

The two-time All-Star showed up to camp looking leaner than in the past, ready to put his lingering leg issues behind him. The result will be a monster year where he flirts with the possibility of receiving votes in the NL MVP race at season’s end. Thankfully, the front office will capitalize before this, locking him up to a long-term extension as the center piece of the next core.

The future of Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez will, unfortunately, not be decided till season’s end. It’s hard to envision a Cubs team without Rizzo at first base, but you never know. I still think the two sides figure it out.

Why Contreras gets the extension is the interesting part. In the wake of Christian Yelich‘s deal with Milwaukee, the Cubs and Baez wind up further apart than ever when it comes to numbers and talks are tabled. Discussions will continue next offseason, but he finds himself testing the waters of free agency come 2021.