Less than five years removed from their 2016 World Series win, the Chicago Cubs appear ready to clean house. That could include Kris Bryant, a former National League MVP.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported Friday that Chicago (43-45) “are indeed planning on being sellers this month” as the July 30 trade deadline approaches. According to Feinsand, Bryant and Craig Kimbrel are the most likely trade candidates, while first baseman Anthony Rizzo and shortstop Javier Báez “could also be available.”
The Cubs are indeed planning on being sellers this month, according to sources. Kris Bryant and Craig Kimbrel appear to be the most likely trade candidates, though others (Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez) could also be available. @Ken_Rosenthal and @PJ_Mooney were all over it.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 9, 2021
While the Cubs are only two games below five hundred, they sport a -23 run differential and find themselves 9.5 games behind Milwaukee in the NL Central.
An auspicious start to 2021 culminated in Chicago’s first-ever combined no-hitter at Dodger Stadium on June 24th. But the Cubs lost their next eleven games, unable to secure another victory until July 7th versus the Phillies.
Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Báez, who were instrumental in Chicago’s 2016 ring, have struggled at the plate for a couple of years now. Lacking consistent offense from their big name position players, the Cubs are hitting .226 as a team (26th in baseball).
Kimbrel has been a rare bright spot at Wrigley Field in 2021. The all-star closer has allowed a staggering two earned runs in 31.2 innings pitched. If Kimbrel is indeed available, he’ll attract a bevy of competitive suitors.
The Cubs’ impending rebuild has fans and media ruminating on what could’ve been. It’s another reminder of how fleeting championship windows can be. 2016’s most promising young core is on the trade block.