The Chicago Cubs’ playoff hopes have taken a massive hit over the past couple of weeks.
The club has lost 10 consecutive games, and with the trade deadline approaching, the organization is going to have to start weighing its options.
The Cubs are looking like sellers https://t.co/Z4ZlKw5n9A
— Mets Raccoon (@mets_coon) July 6, 2021
The Cubs entered Tuesday with an 8.5-game deficit in the National League Central and a seven-game deficit in the Wild Card race.
Those are some steep mountains to climb.
All things considered, should the Cubs commit to selling at the upcoming deadline amid their recent slide?
Yes, They Should Sell, And The Organization Is Probably Secretly Relieved About It
The majority of the Cubs’ current core is set to hit free agency after the season.
While Chicago can hope to retain some of its stars, it will almost certainly lose a few key players.
The team will likely have a very new look next season.
It’s impossible to overstate how much value is in there.
Bryant, a former MVP, is batting .272 this season with an .866 OPS, 16 home runs, and 16 doubles.
He is one of the best players in the league when he’s at his best.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 4, 2021
Rizzo, who has spent almost his entire pro career with the Cubs, has an outstanding track record despite his overall numbers being down this season.
He’s a career .269 hitter with an .853 OPS and averages 29 home runs per 162 games.
Baez, known best for his flare and defense, is an above-average career hitter in most categories, like OPS+ (for which he has a 102 mark).
And Davies, who is in his first year with the team, has a career 3.85 ERA as a reliever to complement a 1.29 WHIP.
All of these players are key contributors for the Cubs, and they’d also be key contributors for contending teams this season.
Entering the year, Chicago’s front office was faced with a big dilemma as it pertained to dealing with all of these players’ expiring contracts.
You never want to lose star players and get nothing in return, and that’s what typically happens in free agency.
So on one hand, the organization was likely tempted to trade away the expiring deals and maximize the return.
But on the other hand, doing that would have meant punting on the 2021 season.
That’s never the avenue you want to take when you have a talented team.
The Cubs entered the season without making a firm choice on which direction they wanted to take.
And up until recently, the best move was still unclear.
But here’s the beauty in the Cubs’ losing streak: The team doesn’t have to worry about any of this anymore.
The skid has essentially chopped Chicago’s playoff hopes into bits, so now the choice has been made for them.
A hard sell is the best move in every sense, and Chicago will be much better off down the road because of it.
While fans will be disappointed to see the Cubs throw in the towel on the 2021 season, there will be a haul of exciting young players coming over at the deadline in return for the aforementioned players.