We knew heading into the season that a lot of things were going to have to break in favor of the Cubs if the team was going to get back to October and win a postseason series for the first time since 2017.
To this point, that's not how things have played out and, with the first half winding down, Chicago's season sits upon the edge of a knife. The possibility the team will be sellers for a third consecutive summer is a very real one and a handful of decisions the front office made last summer played a big role in where the Cubs find themselves right now.
3: The Jameson Taillon signing looks like a huge miscalculation
Heading into the series finale against the Guardians with a 2-11 record on Sundays this year and Jameson Taillon on the mound was hardly confidence-inspiring. When the dust settled, despite a late-inning rally, the result was as expected: a Cubs loss.
The right-hander allowed five earned on seven hits in five innings, raising his ERA on the year to 7.07 in 14 starts. In those 14 outings, Chicago is a brutal 2-12, meaning they're four games over .500 with literally anybody else starting - hardly a figure that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside given this is year one of a four-year, $68 million deal.
As much as I want to be angry at the front office for this signing, there was nothing to suggest this type of regression coming in Taillon's numbers or underlying metrics. It seemingly came out of nowhere, maybe from trying to live up to the pressure associated with that contract, but the impact is the same regardless: $14 million this year that feels like it could have been better spent elsewhere.