Cubs: Evaluating the odds each player is traded this offseason

Kyle Hendricks - Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Hendricks - Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Cubs
Javier Baez – Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports /

Cubs are reportedly willing to listen to offers for Javier Baez

The Cubs’ Javier Baez is a different sort of player. With the MLB logo tattooed above his neck, you know this is a guy who lives to compete. Back in 2014, he homered on his first play. That’s when we knew he was here to stay. He strikes out – a lot. But his game is so much more than that.

He won his first Gold Glove in 2020 (finally) and his infectious energy is something that is rare, to say the least. When he puts it all together, it’s something to behold. Remember. In 2018, he finished runner-up in the NL MVP race after hitting 34 home runs and leading the league with 111 RBI.

By all offensive standards, this wasn’t a good year for Baez. He hit just .203 with eight home runs and 24 RBI (wRC+ 57). But in all honesty, pretty much the whole team underperformed – with the exception of some pitchers. Baez is heading into his final year of team control and we know there’s likely to be interest from other teams. All things considered, I think he’ll sign with the team long-term. After all, it looked like the two sides were close on something when COVID-19 hit this spring.

Trade? – 5% chance

Cubs: Kris Bryant is also coming off a down year at the dish

The Cubs’ Kris Bryant ‘is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.’ In 2020, he slashed .206/.293/.351 with a wRC+ of 76, every one of those marks a career-worst. In terms of average, Jason Heyward was ‘best’ on the team at .265. Not much difference between them, per se. Still, Bryant was barely over the Mendoza line – not what you want to see from your former MVP.

In 2016, he was brilliant. Bryant slashed .292/.385/.554 with an OPS+ 146 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI with 121 runs scored in 155 games. He led the Cubs to a World Series title and MVP honors in the National League, following up on his sensational Rookie of the Year campaign. Since then, it’s gone downhill. He was a 0.5 WAR player in ’20. He was a 7.9 WAR in ’16. Oy vey. Can he get on track? Who knows. Personally, I think he’ll be traded before the season starts.

Trade? – 95% chance