5 colossal trade chips in the impending Chicago Cubs fire sale

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Chicago Cubs / Javier Baez / Willson Contreras
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How can the Chicago Cubs possibly be fun at all without these guys?

Perhaps the most exciting and fun members of the team through their window of contention have been Baez and Contreras. They’re both high energy guys who have cannons attached to their right shoulders and love being showmen as much as they do hitting bombs. They also may both find themselves wearing a different uniform in a couple weeks.

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Contreras has always been in a bit of a different class than the other guys because he still has a year and a half of team control left. With a contract that doesn’t expire until the end of 2022, he’s certainly a wildcard seeing as the looming end of the CBA contract after this year makes next year’s contracts a bit murky and unpredictable at best.

The Venezuelan native has been one of the best all-around catchers for several years, has become a proficient pitch framer, and catches as much as anyone in baseball. It’s not unreasonable to think a contending team would want him for not just the stretch run for this year, but next as well.

Baez, while still one of the most enigmatic superstars in baseball because of his high rate of swing and miss as well as chasing, is a Gold-Glove defender above anything else, a guy who brings defense, base-running, and intangibles to the ballpark every day. Granted, you can’t always count on him to cut down his swing and go the other way for a single, but a contending club in need of a shortstop (who could play third or second incredibly if coupled with another established shortstop) who can pop homers in the clutch is definitely going to come calling for El Mago.