Whatever happens against the Marlins, Cubs should put off any thought of rebuilding

It’s not time to wave goodbye yet to those dreamy eyes of Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant.

If the Cubs continue to not hit the ball hard, they will be done with this crazy season before the end of the week.

As a team, the Cubs are hitting .220.  They are a hard watch with 146 more strikeouts than hits.  Fans recognize the names, but not the swings.  Rizzo, Bryant, Heyward, Contreras, Schwarber, and Baez remain from the magical 2016 postseason that ended with the Cubs first world championship since 1908.

And all those players are under contract for another run next year.

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Whether or not Kyle Hendricks and Yu Darvish can pitch well enough to tote those limp bats beyond the Marlins in the wild card round, I want these guys to come back in 2021.

Here are the five reasons to bring these Cubs back:

5 – The farm system sucks.  The days of waiting for no-brainer prospects like Bryant, Baez, and Schwarber to climb through the minors are over.  Brennan Davis and Ed Howard are a couple of years away from Wrigley Field – at least.  Theo Epstein would have to deal Bryant and others to re-stock the pond with high quality youngsters, and that is an imperfect science.

4 – I know these guys.  Quick, name the starting eight position players for the 2011 Cubs!  Here is the Cubs lineup for that woebegone season – Kosuke Fukudome, Marlon Byrd, Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney, Carlos Pena, and Geovany Soto.  I don’t want to go back to watching Cubs rosters that flip through a relentless torrent of mediocres.  (Interestingly, a 22-year-old named D.J. LeMahieu was promoted to the Cubs from the minors that year.  He hit .250 in 60 ABs before being traded with Tyler Colvin to the Rockies for Ian Stewart and Casey Weathers.  Since then, LeMahieu has played in three all-star games and won two batting titles.)

3 – Rebuild of last group to play together this long sucked.  The Cubs of the late 1960s-mid 1970s had greats like Banks, Williams, Santo, Kessinger, Beckert, and Hundley.  Minus Mr. Cub, they were all dealt away as then GM John Holland tried to get younger.  Those deals returned Manny Trillo, Bob Locker, Darold Knowles, Steve Stone, Steve Swisher, Jim Kremmel, Ken Frailing, George Mitterwald, Jerry Morales, Mike Garman, and Bobby Hrapmann.  Do you want to take a chance on another set of deals like that?

2 – None of the current positional core has turned 31!  I know pitchers Jon Lester and Darvish are in their mid-30s, but the position guys have a long runway of prime productivity ahead of them.  Why dump winning players after they struggle a bit to acquire unknown youth who might struggle a lot?

1 – It ain’t my money!  People often discuss the economic realities of baseball as though it’s their cash being poorly invested.  They yelp, “I’m not paying Kris Bryant $30-million to play part-time and hit .206!”  You’re right – you aren’t!  Cubs owner Tom Ricketts either will or won’t. Social media stalwarts are furious with players who don’t live up to their salary.  If Ricketts goes bankrupt paying the Cubs who won the 2016 World Series, I’m good with that.  His financial health is not my concern.  In fact, I would get a kick out of it if Ricketts ever had to go out and earn a living without daddy’s money behind him.

The Cubs don’t look like a team ready to make a long postseason run.  Nobody other than Ian Happ and Heyward have hit worth a damn all season.  Maybe pitching can move them into the NLDS, but even that is a stretch.

The 2020 Cubs are what they are – an offensively inert group that appears to be trying too hard. The question about which tack Theo Epstein should take depends upon the players you would prefer to watch compete in 2021 and beyond.

Do you want to see the guys you have watched since 2015, or a bunch of different characters like those cobbled together during that grim rebuild made necessary by former GM Jim Hendry’s impetuousness when he felt his job was in peril?

I would rather watch Bryant, Rizzo, Schwarber, Baez, Contreras, and Heyward struggle than get to know a bunch of new guys who might never win.  This core group will age out of baseball soon enough.  Why hustle them out the door now?

2 thoughts on “Whatever happens against the Marlins, Cubs should put off any thought of rebuilding

  1. Glenn Lotenberg

    I take umbrage to the comment about Tom not working and earn a living. I worked for Tom for almost ten years in a company that he started called Incapital. Tom showed up day in and day out providing. 100+ employees with tremendous opportunity. So daddy has money… he built a technology driven discount brokerage platform that revolutionized the financial markets. The family had a passion to own the Cubs…and win a World Series and accomplished it. The guy gives blood sweat and tears to the Cubs.

    1. Kent Sterling Post author

      I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Ricketts is driven by greed, not a love of the Cubs or winning. Glad you had a good experience with Ricketts.


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