After throwing a combined no-hitter against the Dodgers, nothing has gone right for the Chicago Cubs. They’ve lost 11 games in a row and five of those games have been by one run. While the NL Central can still be won, General Manager, Jed Hoyer, and the Ricketts family must be honest about the future. The past two seasons the Cubs have been eliminated in the wild-card round, their farm system is dry, and key players are set to hit the market soon. There is no way the Cubs can keep everyone, and hard choices will have to be made. I believe the Cubs should be sellers at the deadline.
But the division is still winnable:
While the optimist says they can still win the division, that isn’t a false belief. Every team in this division has major flaws. The first-place Brewers have had problems offensively, the Reds have serious pitching issues, the Cardinals’ pitching staff has been depleted by injuries and despite having Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt; the offense has struggled and the Pirates are rebuilding. While this may look like a good year to make a run; I don’t think the Cubs have the team to recreate the 2016 magic. This team has also been eliminated in the wild card round the past two seasons. Whenever a team struggles to make it to a championship, changes often need to be made.
Free Agency is going to hurt:
After this season, free agency isn’t going to be kind to the Cubs. Stars Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Javier Baez are all slated to hit the open market. The following year, Wilson Contreras and Craig Kimbrel will be free agents. I don’t think the Cubs will be able to afford to keep them all. Bryant, Baez, and Contreras are having all-star seasons, Rizzo is having a good year and Kimbrel seems to be returning back to all-star form. The Cubs would be wise to make these trades while their value is high. After all, that’s what the front office did to end the curse.
The Farm has dried up:
The Cubs’ farm system also ranks toward the bottom half of the league and they need younger players. The Cubs’ current losing streak should be giving Jed Hoyer and the front office clarity on what to do. Considering the high salaries that those players will demand and the lack of recent postseason success; It makes too much sense to be a seller. By trading one or more of those players they’ll potentially be able to get a haul of prospects.
Considering the current free fall and the lack of postseason success it’s time for the Cubs to face reality. The Cubs haven’t made it past the wild card round since 2017, they won’t be able to keep all of their core players and this current team isn’t a World Series contender. If the Cubs either become a buyer or don’t do anything, they’ll be setting themselves up for a long rebuild in the future.