Another day, another reminder that the end is near for the current Chicago Cubs core. When speaking to the general consensus of Cubs fans, as much as it hurts to think about, most have been in agreement that in order to have the quickest turnaround we must sell off our key pieces now.
Even if you were to keep all these stars, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez and Willson Contreras, together long-term, the simple truth is this: this team has not performed well enough together for years now. It is time to start answering the phone if you’re Jed Hoyer and look ahead to what your key pieces can get you in trades. With recent reports of the Cubs core staying intact beyond the deadline, it begs the question. Why?
Does that mean we are looking to stand pat at the deadline? How can we with a below average rotation? Are we looking to now buy at the deadline to fix the rotation and go for it? What do we have to buy with, except for the key pieces on this team we would need to trade to get any return in value anyway?
As for buying, there have been no further reports or rumors as of yet. It has, however, been addressed that the Cubs are looking to sell at the deadline. The ideology of sticking with your current core baffles me if you are not looking to re-sign all off of them in the offseason.
We’ve discussed Bryant, Kimbrel and Baez. Now, with everybody seemingly on the table for the right price, let’s shift our focus to Willson Contreras.
Just before the All-Star Break, Contreras called out his teammates for their poor effort in a loss to the Cardinals, capping off a bitter cold 2-13 run before the break. Whether it was consequence or simply a day off, Contreras was not in the lineup the following afternoon for the final game which was ultimately postponed due to inclement weather.
Contreras is currently batting .236/.344/.457, though his defense is of most value.
The return for Contreras could be well worth it as he is the only member considered to be in the core who still has a full year of team control on his contract. Who doesn’t want a catcher who can strike when you least expect it? No lead from a runner is safe when Willy is behind the plate and for that reason we will take a look at three teams potentially looking to strengthen themselves in the two spot.