The forthcoming offseason seems likely to be one of the most exciting in recent memory. Like it or not, that means the Chicago Cubs could trade fan favorites.
After three consecutive trips to the National League Championship Series, we all, by and large, consider a prompt exit in the NL Wild Card game a failure. Chicago Cubs fans now expect more than ‘just’ a postseason berth.
And that same mindset permeates all the way to the top. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein made that perfectly clear in his end-of-season presser with members of the media.
“It’s time to stop evaluating in terms of talent and start doing it in terms of production,” he said.
That statement turned heads in a big way. For years, the team built around their corral of former first-rounders, including Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ and Albert Almora. During that same stretch, we heard about how the Cubs needed to let these guys mature and figure out the game at the big league level.
Those days are done. Somehow, we’re likely already on the back end of the championship window. Epstein knows that and, this winter, we’re going to see his front office operate with that in mind. The time to pull the trigger and make big moves is now.
With that said, these five guys stand out as particularly likely to put on a new uniform come next spring.