The Chicago Cubs are going into this off-season with a lot of question marks. What do they do with their core group? Will Jon Lester be back and if not, who will fill in as that third starter behind Yu Darvish, and Kyle Hendricks? I tell you what this team needs to do and its biggest move to help this team to move forward and for the future.
With Theo Epstein going into his final year he has came out and said that he wants to leave this organization in a better place when Theo leaves the Cubs. Wants to build this team for now and the future.
This Cubs core has had a pretty great run. Playoffs from 2015-2018, missed an appearance in 2019 but went back this season. 2016 was the big year, World Series Championship. A lot of people said the Chicago Cubs with the core they have they should of won multiple World Series titles.
Getting to the playoffs and winning a World Series is great and all but something hasn’t clicked since 2016. The Cubs offense has been in a rut and can not score like many people thought when you have players like Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras, Kyle Schwarber, & Anthony Rizzo. Pretty all of those guys are in a contract year going into next season.
So the question is what should Theo and company do going forward and what do they need the most?
If Theo wants to set this organization up for the future he needs to get some young assets that will help this team going forward. The biggest thing for me he needs to get young starting pitchers that can pitch now or down the road next season. After Darvish, and Hendricks their rotation is kind of up in the air.
The Cubs need to get younger arms going forward because Darvish probably has about 2-3 years left and Hendricks is pretty much all you have left once Darvish’s time is up.
Yu Darvish and Kyle Hendricks are solidified as the 1 & 2 starters and then after that it is truly up in the air. I guess you can consider Alec Mills being in the mix but who’s to say he could have a good season like this year, a very surprise moment. Jose Quintana is a free agent and I don’t see the Cubs bringing him back. Quintana did not perform to the Cubs standards, especially for what they gave and is injury prone. The Cubs did not pick up Jon Lester making him a free agent but there is some talk that the Cubs and Lester want to get a deal done.
One thing that hurts the Cubs is there farm system. They do not have many starting pitchers that are ready to take the next step and pitch in the big leagues. Only two guys that can make that step, first one is Adbert Alozay. The 25-year-old right-handed pitcher has made 6 starts with the Cubs. In 2019 he made 2 starts and in this past season he made 4 starts. Brailyn Marquez, 21 years old left-handed pitcher made one appearance with the Chicago Cubs, which was the last game of the season.
I can definitely see Adbert Alozay being in the rotation sometime next season. As for Brailyn Marquez I think he needs one more year of minor league ball before he’s in the Cubs rotation. I believe Marquez has the major league talent but would be smart to give him one more year in the minors.
As for free agency, there are a few other options out there.
Trevor Bauer would be a great arm to have but he is someone that will only take one year deals. Yes, the Cubs probably can’t afford long term deals so Bauer would be a nice get. Taijuan Walker would be a good pick up that you could get for cheap and have him for multiple years. Other than Bauer, and Walker there isn’t much out there I liked going forward for the Cubs.
With not having fans in the stands cause of the pandemic and many other things, the Chicago Cubs will have a very hard time keeping some of there All-Stars and with needing young starting pitchers, I believe you need to trade a couple of those All-Stars. I have a good feeling they will extend Baez. After Baez I think Bryant, Schwarber and Contreras can be on the trade block to get young assets back along with starting pitchers to help this organization going forward.
It will be a very interesting offseason on the North Side. All hands on deck for Theo and company.