Thanks to a huge May, the Cubs were in first place for much of June. An 11-game losing streak that coincided with a big Brewers run effectively ended the season, though, and now the Cubs are left with a lot of big decisions with the trade deadline set for later in the week on Friday, July 30.
The Cubs are now clearly sellers and the organization could use a bit of a reset, So it seems like some fan favorites are going to be wearing different uniforms very soon, as heartbreaking as it'll be for many in Wrigleyville.
So let's do a quick breakdown of the possibly-tradeable players.
Free agents after this season: Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Báez, Zach Davies, Matt Duffy, Dan Winkler, Ryan Tepera, Adam Morgan, Robinson Chirinos
Options for 2022: Craig Kimbrel, Andrew Chafin, Jake Marisnick
Controlled only through 2022: Willson Contreras
That's a lot. No, I don't think every single player listed is going to be traded. That would be quite the flurry of moves. I do think every player listed has been or at least will be discussed in some fashion. With that in mind, let's discuss landing spots for the biggest names.
Kimbrel, as good as he's ever been, is the best reliever available and has a $16 million club option for next season that makes him an even more attractive piece. Expect Cubs president Jed Hoyer to wait until the last few hours on deadline day and watch a bidding war unfold. It would probably take less time to list the contenders who would not be interested in Kimbrel's services. Basically, every single contender able to take on money will likely be involved: Red Sox, Blue Jays (if they are still close enough to a wild card spot to buy), Astros, Mets, Braves, Phillies, Giants and Dodgers seem the most likely to be connected.
My hunch is he's gone before deadline day. He has MVP upside (he's already won it) and will be a huge boost to any lineup. He's one of the best pure baserunners in baseball and can play good defense at third base and both corner outfield spots. He's even good enough to get by in center field. He can also play first, but that's a waste of his talent.