Chicago Cubs: Face it: Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez aren’t coming back

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

For some Chicago Cubs fans, this might be hard to hear, but I think it’s time that we get this out of the way. There is no reason at all to bring back any of the former core players this offseason. It’s time we move on from Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo.

As some of my favorite athletes of all-time, it stinks that this has to be said, but there are many reasons behind why it’s officially time to say goodbye to our former beloved heroes.

Despite being traded this July, Jed Hoyer said the door is still open if these players would be interested in returning to the Cubs in the winter. Since Hoyer made those comments, we have to take into account what has happened since then and why it really does not make sense for any of them to return. Let’s break down each player and why I feel like a return is extremely unlikely.

Let’s start with Rizzo. Rizzo should’ve been a Cub for life and he will always be one of the greatest players to ever put on a Cubs uniform. Even though I would love for Rizzo to return, I put his chances to return at almost zero.

Chicago Cubs: Frank Schwindel played spoiler in an Anthony Rizzo reunion

Since Rizzo left the Windy City, the Cubs found a possible diamond in the rough at first base in Frank Schwindel. Schwindel took over the first base job, and absolutely ran away with it. Winning NL Rookie of the Month twice, he did more than enough to head into 2022 with a chance to prove that his breakout summer was no fluke.

While Rizzo is still producing and did fairly well this past season, I think there’s a couple of questions if you are a team that’s kicking the tires on signing the veteran. The last couple years we have begun to see a steady decline in Rizzo’s bat and not to mention the lingering back issues he’s had recently. It’s also been reported that Rizzo would love to return to the Yankees.

So while I will forever love Rizzo and what he did for the city of Chicago, I think his time with the Cubs is all but over.

Bringing back Javier Baez doesn’t make sense for the Chicago Cubs

People seem to really love the idea of Baez returning this offseason and he seems like the most likely candidate to do so. Even though I wouldn’t mind El Mago coming back to Chicago, it just doesn’t make sense.

First of all, I think it’s time to focus on the future of the middle infield and truly give Nico Hoerner that shot that he deserves. In the games Hoerner has played, he has proven himself as a top of the lineup hitter and has an extremely impressive glove. Not to mention the Cubs are pretty deep with middle infielders already in their rapidly expanding farm system.

If the Cubs do want to go and spend money on a shortstop though, Baez might not be worth the money he’s going to get. He is an extremely streaky hitter who hasn’t put it together consistently since his NL MVP runner-up season a few years back. If you are going to spend the money on a shortstop, I think you would be better off going after a name like Carlos Correa or Marcus Semien.

Chicago Cubs front office is to blame for the Kris Bryant fiasco

Of the three, Kris Bryant makes the most sense as a long-term fit, but a reunion seems highly unlikely here, as well. The Cubs really dropped the ball on Bryant years ago. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer had the chance to extend him but stalled contract talks for years and they could just never get anything done.

I also think that Bryant has mentally closed that chapter of his life. The media and front office really seemed to take a toll on him in his last couple years with the Cubs, and I think Bryant going to the Giants was a breath of fresh air for him. Not to mention his agent is Scott Boras, who is known for getting his clients a little more money than what they might actually deserve.

The door feels all but slammed on the Kris Bryant era in Chicago.

Next. Schwarber is 'all ears' on a potential Red Sox reunion. dark

While this might make fans upset, it was the hard truth that needed to be said. The three players and the Cubs are headed in two different directions and a reunion with any of them just does not make very much sense. While I wish the best for all three of them and would still love to see any of them return, it’s time we move on.