Cubs Opening Day: Three predictions for the 2021 season

(Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Chicago Cubs / Zach Davies
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Cubs Opening Day: Zach Davies is an All-Star and the team trades him anyway

Over the next year, the Chicago Cubs’ roster will undergo a tremendous amount of turnover. More than half of the 26-man roster is set to hit free agency next winter and Zach Davies is among those entering a final year of control.

The soft-tossing right-hander came over from the Padres in the Yu Darvish trade as the only big league-ready asset. Coming off the best year of his career with San Diego, many have compared him to Cubs ace Kyle Hendricks. Both rely on control and inducing soft contact rather than velocity to get outs.

Met with a fair degree of skepticism this spring through no fault of his own (it’s bound to happen when you’re traded for a Cy Young runner-up), Davies was stellar this spring, leading all Cubs pitchers with a 1.08 ERA in 16 2/3 innings of work while overcoming some control issues.

Next. Regular at-bats will unlock David Bote's potential this year. dark

I think working with Hendricks will only help Davies this season – and it’ll culminate in the first All-Star selection of his career. But don’t get too excited. With an eye on the future, Jed Hoyer will flip him at the trade deadline to a contender in need of starting pitching. That’ll be the theme of the summer in Wrigleyville – bidding adieu to our best players.