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Options for the Cubs Moving Forward

Disappointment strikes the north side, again. The Cubs have been swept by the Marlins in a three-game series. What do they do now? Blow the team up, or maybe just retool this offseason and give it one more kick at the can. They have options, but do they have the drive?

2020 Recap

The Cubs started 2020 hot, taking 13 of their first 16. Although the Cubs started strong, their players looked like a well-oiled machine, stars such as Kris Bryant and Javier Baez failed to produce. Meanwhile unusual suspects such as Ian Happ and Jason Heyward showed up big throughout the regular season.

Pitcher Yu Darvish made a strong case for National League CY Young, bringing joy to many Cubs fans knowing he could live up to his monster deal. While Alec Mills seemed to find his footing late in season tossing his first career no-hitter.

The Cubs managed to prove their haters wrong during the regular season stealing the NL Central division title. While also securing the third seed in the playoffs. But to the dismay of Cubs’ fans, could not make it out of the Wild Card round. Thankfully for Chicago though the rest of the NL Central choked their way out of the playoffs early.

Where to Now?

Now that the north side is in offseason mode, what should they do from here? The Cubs have two options. They can either take one more run at glory before the inevitable departure of Kris Bryant, or they can blow up the team now.

A retool of the current Cubs rosters would be a temporary fix causing a longer more painful rebuild. Retooling would involve depleting Chicago’s already shallow prospect pool. Which is not beneficial. Although the Cubs are young, they accomplished their intended goal back in 2016, bringing home that elusive World Series title. A retool would also require the Ricketts family to get out of their comfort zone and open their wallet.

A rebuild on the north side may have to be the route needed. With things looking bleak on the north side after only registering one run against the Marlin in the Wild Card round, it seems like it is time to rebuild. With Baez, Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo’s contracts set to expire at the end of next season. The decision needs to be made. During a rebuild the Cubs would need to keep some veteran leadership on the team, keeping space to retain Rizzo.  *Note: The Cubs have a team option for Rizzo for 2021, if they choose not to pick it up, Big Rizz will hit free agency in November of this year.

The Best Route

Keeping the Cubs in the same form as this season simply will not do. Although this is all dependent on how much the Ricketts family is willing to spend, their best option is to retool. Fans went over a century of losing and do not deserve to have to sit through a rebuild just a few short years after winning.

The Cubs could target players such as Trevor Bauer or George Springer if he becomes available. They could also dip their feet in the trade market and put a package together for Francisco Lindor. A trade for Lindor would open the door to shift Baez back to the second base giving the Cubs a strong middle infield again.

The Cubs need to make their decision sooner rather than later, in order to save Cubs fans from years of pain again. Although a decision may be longer than necessary with rumors of Theo Epstein’s departure looming. What do Cubs fans want?

Cubs
image via nbcsports.com

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