Former Chicago Cubs all-stars look lost on their new teams

The Chicago Cubs traded away their World Series winning core two years ago and the former all-stars are all putting together horrendous seasons

Detroit Tigers v Miami Marlins
Detroit Tigers v Miami Marlins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

It's been almost two years since the Chicago Cubs took a sledgehammer to their roster and traded away their World Series-winning core. But it's starting to look like an uncontested correct decision as many of the former Cubs are struggling big-time.

As the Cubs visit Javier Baez up in Detroit for a three-game series against the Tigers, the former NL MVP runner-up is in the middle of the worst offensive season of his career. The Tigers are paying Baez $22 million in 2023 and he has only hit 8 home runs with an abysmal OPS of .591. The shortstop also owns an ugly slash line of .222/..265/.326 and he is only in the second season of his six-year contract.

The rest of the Cubs' main contributors from 2016 are not fairing much better. According to a tweet from Jon Greenberg of The Athletic, the combined fWAR of Baez, Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, and Kyle Schwarber in 2023 is just 1.3.

To put that in perspective, Cody Bellinger's fWAR on the year is 4.0, meaning four players from the 2016 World Series team are worth a fraction of Bellinger's production this season. Kyle Schwarber has had the most relative success since he has cranked 32 home runs in 2023, but his peripheral stats are ugly (.182 batting average) and his defense is average at the very best.

Anthony Rizzo was decent at the beginning of the year, but a scary head injury from a collision with Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. sent his production down the tubes. Rizzo spent almost two months on the active roster when he was supposed to enter concussion protocol upon the injury.

Finally, we have Kris Bryant, who is currently on the injured list with a fractured index finger. This is the fifth IL stint the former MVP has suffered since signing his deal with the Rockies in 2022. He has played less than a season's worth of games since the Cubs traded him at the 2021 deadline.

Whether these players would have seen these struggles if the Cubs kept them around is impossible to know, but it sure looks like the right call in hindsight to trade them away.

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