After a hot 13-3 start to their season, the Cubs had World Series aspirations yet again. The Cubs believed that they had the talent on their roster to win their second ring in four years. Their core players, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez were ready to be leaders in another deep postseason run.
However, their season would be cut extremely short, getting swept by a Marlins team who lost 105 games a season ago. So is it really the end of an era for the Cubs? Is it time to trade some of the Cubs’ core players and rebuild?
In 2020, Bryant had the worst season of his young six-year career. In the regular season, he batted .206 with only four home runs and 11 RBIs.
The former NL MVP hasn’t been efficient in the postseason as well since 2016. After the Cubs won the World Series in 2016, Bryant has batted just .189 in the postseason with only one home run and one RBI.
Being a focal point of this offense, Bryant’s numbers in the postseason aren’t adequate enough to get the job done. As a result, Chicago might look to move Bryant as soon as they can.
His asking price will likely be too much for the Cubs as he will want $200+ million, so the Cubs and Bryant might part ways in the future.
He will become a free agent after the 2021 season.
This year marked the worst season for Rizzo since his rookie year in 2011.
This season, Rizzo batted .222 (worst since 2011) with 11 home runs and 24 RBIs.
Although Rizzo had a down year, there is no need to panic about him. He is still an elite first baseman.
As a result of an unusual offseason and a shortened season, this could have easily played a part in many players struggling.
Nevertheless, like Bryant, Rizzo has really struggled in the postseason since their World Series title. In the postseason between 2017-2020, Rizzo is hitting a poor .127 with only one home run and six RBIs.
In just 13 postseason games since 2016, Rizzo hasn’t been the answer.
The Cubs love Rizzo’s mentality, so it is unlikely they trade him or let him walk.
Rizzo becomes a free agent after the 2021 season.
Continuing the trend of awful Cubs hitting in 2020, Baez can be put on that list as well.
His explosive swing approach at the plate didn’t fare well for him this season. In 59 regular games, he batted a mere .203 with eight home runs and 24 RBIs.
A major reason for his downfall this season could contribute to the inability to watch film, which was not allowed a part of the 2020 season.
“The way that it is is not the way we play baseball. And I need video to make adjustments and during the game,” said Baez.
Although Baez contributes his poor year due to the lack of film, some would disagree with him.
Like Bryant and Rizzo, Baez has been abysmal in the playoffs since 2016. Baez is just batting .123 with two home runs and three RBIs in 13 postseason games since their World Series title.
El Mago will look to have a rebound season in a contract year.
Baez will become a free agent after the 2021 season.
What’s Next for Chicago
The Cubs’ three best hitters have not lived up to their names in the postseason nor the regular as of late.
As a result, Cubs’ current President, Theo Epstein and Chairman Tom Ricketts might look to trade some of their key pieces for a possible rebuild.
After this season, Jon Lester could be a free agent if the Cubs don’t want to pick up his $25 million contract.
As for the Cubs hitters, after next season, Baez, Bryant, Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber will all be free agents.
A major problem with the Cubs’ organization as of now is their lack of prospects. According to MLB, they only have three of the top 100 prospects, the first one coming in at 63.
With Bryant, Rizzo and Baez hitting a combined 1-24 against the Marlins in the Wild Card round, big moves will need to be made if they want to compete for another World Series title.
Look for the Cubs to be very active in the offseason as well as at the trade deadline trying to move some talented stars.
Image Courtsey of the Ringer