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Theo Epstein’s demand for urgency seems to point to the Cubs trading Kyle Schwarber

Some general managers believe the way to demand urgency and attention from players is to trade a big name.

Send away a significant player, send a message.

Nobody’s untouchable, everyone’s tradable.

Produce, or you might be next, fella.

You get the idea.

It might not be right. It might not always work. But it’s a weapon GMs have unsheathed.

Will Theo Epstein be that guy after spending much of his postseason postmortem demanding urgency from his roster in 2019 in the wake of its 2018 failure?

If Epstein wanted to underscore his words with actions, he would’ve fired manager Joe Maddon. But he didn’t do that. He fired the hitting coach, which stirs little when talking urgency.

So, if Epstein intends to act as urgently as he demands his roster plays, he would face dealing a Cubs hero, and it seems his name would be Kyle Schwarber.

READ MORE: Will Kyle Schwarber be traded? 5 offseason questions for the Cubs about their outfielders »

READ MORE: Cubs roster outlook for 2019 »

Even if the idea of such a move is to show no player is untouchable, it seems Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and probably Willson Contreras are, in fact, untouchable. For now, anyway. So who’s left?

More to the point, who’s left among position players who are from this regime and/or are beloved postseason contributors?

Schwarber, certainly. Albert Almora Jr. too. Ian Happ. I don’t see Almora and Happ bringing back much; Almora collapsed in the second half, and Happ was the poster child for inconsistency. David Bote and Tommy La Stella have moments but not good trade value.

So, we’re back to Schwarber. Trading him would seem to represent a significant message because Schwarber has been a prized draft choice of the Epstein regime. Sacrifice shows some urgency, no?

It might be that Epstein has been open to trading Schwarber but found that other teams loved him a lot less than the Cubs, even though he appears to be the perfect American League trade piece as a designated hitter.

The bad news might be that the lack of Schwarber infatuation among other teams underscored something else Epstein said at his postseason postmortem: It’s time to judge players on production, not projections.

That’s a solid conclusion. A good barometer. An excellent motto. And one at which you’d have wanted the Cubs to arrive before everybody else did.

When asked in the spring about a Cubs-like World Series hangover in 2018, Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel declared: “We’re not the Cubs. I firmly believe we have better players.” Keuchel and those better players were eliminated from the postseason Thursday in five games, same as the Cubs a year earlier.

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