Cubs hold their own fate in their hands early in the season

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

It was a tough offseason for Cubs fans. We saw departures from the team that many of us hoped we would never see.

We watched the likes of Jon Lester, Kyle Schwarber, Jose Quintana, Theo Epstein and even longtime Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper depart for greener pastures in recent months. To say the least, it has been a long winter on the North Side.

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As hard as it has been to see those guys go, it was even harder to see some of the trade rumors that floated out there. Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras’ names were mentioned in trade talks for what seemed like the entire offseason. If the Cubs were to trade either of those guys the rebuild would be on.

To this point, Chicago is going to run it back one more year with several key pieces of the core that won a World Series championship.

The trade rumors are nothing new for Bryant as he has dealt with them for the last few years. For now, though, he is still on the Cubs and I think I speak for most fans when I say I hope that remains the case for a long time to come. We have seen what he can do when he is healthy. The guy is elite.

Cubs: It will be critically important to start fast in 2021

If you want to see trade rumors take off, watch this team start slow. The roster features a number of players either on one-year deals or in the final years of their respective deals. That has the all the makings of a potential fire sale.

It is important to start fast in any MLB season but especially this season for the Cubs. Because if they do start fast and get out to a good sized lead in the division, it will force the front office to buy at the deadline.

If they don’t, though, and the team starts slow, it will force the front office to sell at the deadline. Because with key guys like Bryant, Rizzo and Baez all entering free agency at the end of the season, there’s little value in letting them walk for nothing at year’s end.

Next. Cubs will finally go with Bryant and Rizzo cleaning up. dark

The decision will be easy on the front office if one of those two scenarios play out. The hard decision will come if they are a few games back or a few games up. Then, Jed Hoyer will have to take a good look at the ball club and decide if they think they can go and win the division or not.