It seems the Cubs will finally make some long-awaited trades. But who will go?
The Chicago Cubs face some immense decisions as they look at their roster. Will they hang on to any of the players who played a role in ending a 108-year championship drought? Or is it open season on the position player core? It’s a tough decision to make, but it’s long overdue. We’ve potentially got as many as eight players on the ‘chopping block,’ so to speak. So who will stay and who will go?
I present to you, in no particular order, six players I believe will be floated on the block. These are the guys who, if on the roster come Opening Day, could be big stories at the trade deadline. Some may be in a different uniform long before next July though. Heck, maybe all of them will – who knows? Let’s get started.
Cubs: Kyle Hendricks is on a team-friendly deal and oozes consistency
The Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks is signed through 2023 with a vesting option for 2024. ‘The Professor’ is a diamond in the rough. And you know what’s nice? He doesn’t throw that hard. He gets to 88 or 89 MPH, possibly hitting 90 here and there – but that’s it. But the changeup is killer, and he throws two of them.
He may not have the arsenal of his teammate Yu Darvish. But his sinker, paired with a changeup, curveball and his four-seamer, have made him one of the most consistent arms in the league in recent years. Hendricks knows how to utilize his full mix of pitches to hitters on both sides of the plate.
Given his intelligence and the fact he doesn’t rely on velocity (which often decreases over time), I’d like to think Hendricks is going to be a mainstay on the North Side for the rest of his career.
Trade? – 0% chance
Cubs: Anthony Rizzo is the unofficial captain and face of the franchise
The Cubs picked up a $16.5 million option on Anthony Rizzo’s deal that keeps him in Chicago for at least one more season. He’s said he would like to finish his career in Chicago, but you can’t always have what you want. In the end, it’s a business. Hopefully it’s a business that allows him to remain with the Cubs, though.
In 2020, he hit just .222 with 11 home runs and 24 RBI. He’s started with back spasms and inflammation in the last couple of years. In the end, though? He’s good to go. In 2019 through March/April, he slashed .228/.371/.485 – but by the end? He hit .293 with 27 home runs and 96 knocked in, while leading the league with 27 HBP.
He means a ton to the franchise and its fans. Still, if there’s anything we’ve learned this year, you can never say never.
Trade? – 25% chance