The Cubs have decided what 2020, and likely the future, will hold. Down below I will break it down, analyze it, and preview what 2020 and the future will hold.
As I stated in The Cubs: Rebuild or Reload, I think, or used to think, for that matter, that the Cubs should build up from the ground. Now I have perspective on the matter, something that I didn’t before. The Cubs have decided on a mix between rebuilding and reloading, and they are still waiting for the decision on something I call the Bryant Trials.
Kris Bryant is a major star, a fan favorite, and in only his second year he won the NL MVP. In his first year, he was 11th in the MVP voting, he won Rookie of the Year, and he was an All-Star. In 2017 he finished 7th in the NL MVP voting, but 2018 was a disaster for him. He won nothing, not even an All-Star. He hit only 13 home runs, a far cry from his 26, 39, 29, and 31 that he would get in 2015-17 and ‘19. He clearly had talent. He meant a ton to the Cubs, but there was only 1 problem. In 2015 the Cubs delayed calling up Kris Bryant, even though he was major league ready. He is bringing it to the MLB, and he has a good case.
Why would Bryant bring this up if he will resign with the Cubs? He won’t resign. This is not good for the Cubs. One of their cornerstones is going to leave. If he is leaving, that would mean disaster, and that is the last thing that the Cubs need, especially with all of their pitching problems.
Back to the Rebuild v Reload. The Cubs have decided a mix, and if they lose the Bryant case, they might look to trade him. He would have some amazing trade value. They could receive prospects and reinforcements, creating cornerstones for the future, and then add the past cornerstones.
Not everything is all roses, though, as if this goes wrong, it ends. If the Cubs trade some of their past cornerstones, and it does create future ones, then they are done. Imagine that the Cubs have 4 cornerstones, let’s say Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, and Willson Contereras. If they trade Bryant and Contereras and it doesn’t work out, then they’ll only have Rizzo and Baez. That spells disaster.
The Cubs are one of the MLB’s most interesting teams. Hopefully the next year will be interesting, but don’t expect a World Series.