Cubs News: 2020 postseason collapse leaves Tom Ricketts with a decision

Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Cubs
Theo Epstein, Tom Ricketts (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Tear it down and rebuild

The ranting fans will certainly be calling for this move.  It might look reasonable.  For example, since winning the World Series, the Cubs postseason combined team slash is .161/.238/.272 with a .510 OPS.

They have scored a paltry 2.4 runs per game, struck out 30% of the time, and lost eight of twelve playoff games. Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, and Kris Bryant, the very core of the team, as ESPN pointed out, have hit a combined .136 with 51 strikeouts to just six walks in the postseason since 2016.

Financially the picture hasn’t been much brighter. The Cubs have exceeded the salary threshold for the past three seasons.  Ian Happ, Bryant, Baez, Willson Contreras, Victor Caratini, and Kyle Schwarber are all headed to arbitration.  Anthony Rizzo has a $16.5 million club option pending.

Ricketts could trade most of them, keep a couple who spare the payroll, fill the gaps with guys already on the roster, or with some cheap free agents as needed.  The team heads into 2022 and beyond with a ton of space below the threshold, you draft higher and stock the farm system, and in a couple of years, you’re ready again.

However, 2021 is almost certainly Theo’s last in Chicago, so would you want to be in a tear down during a FO transition. Probably not.  Plus, things aren’t as bleak as all that.