The Chicago Cubs 2021 season began with the hope of contending all year long, but by June, it was evident that wouldn’t be the case.
They decided to sell their stars at the deadline, at least the ones whose contracts expire after 2021.
That means the Cubs’ major league roster is currently in shambles.
You could say that team is slowly bottoming out.
The 2021 Cubs Are Collapsing
Chicago has lost nine of their last 10 games and currently has a seven-game losing streak.
I just heard a report on the radio that the CUBS have lost seven straight. I don't know if that's seven straight games, or seven starting players.
— Ron Milner (@RonMilnerBoodle) August 12, 2021
Their 52-64 record is the second-worst in the National League Central division.
However, it was an expected outcome, and it comes with the idea, and the hope of a better ‘tomorrow.’
If we go to the definition of ‘bottoming out’, it means that, in this case, a team reaches a lowest or worst point usually before beginning to rise.
The Cubs’ idea, of course, is not to contend in 2021, otherwise they probably wouldn’t have traded their best players at the deadline.
However, they do intend to come back stronger at some point, probably by 2022 or 2023.
Contending next year will be a tough proposition, but it could be feasible if hitters such as Nico Hoerner (.776 OPS), Ian Happ (.602 OPS), and Nick Madrigal can join Willson Contreras as consistent, productive bats; and if Rafael Ortega (.899) and Patrick Wisdom (.899 OPS) can maintain their current level of performance.
Of course, the rotation needs more players to step up, too, with the young Adbert Alzolay (4.71 ERA, 1.16 WHIP) being one of them.
Kyle Hendricks remains good and consistent, but more help would be needed.
The Future Finally Has Some Hope
The Cubs can finally focus on tomorrow rather than tricking themselves with the today.
Not only did they get Madrigal, a very valuable second baseman, at the deadline, but they also received excellent outfield prospects Pete Crow-Armstrong and Kevin Alcantara, reliever Codi Heuer, and more useful projects.
Alexander Canario, an outfielder that came over in the Bryant deal with San Francisco, is raw, but already has four homers in nine games with the Cubs’High-A affiliate, is hitting .308/.357/.667, and can do this:
So Cubs Alexander Canario hit a homer that, not to be dramatic, literally left the planet pic.twitter.com/SIJA6UaYUf
— Trevor Hooth (@HoothTrevor) August 11, 2021
Yes, the team is bottoming out in 2021, but it’s way better to do it knowing that tomorrow is brighter than mortgaging the future and putting all your chips in an improbable push for the playoffs with an aging core and a flawed roster.
It would be very hard for the Cubs to compete in 2022, but at least it’s possible, and 2023 is looking even better.
Had they kept their stars, they would have probably been gone in free agency and the Cubs’ farm system would still be terrible.
The Cubs’ 2021 second half will probably be hard to watch.
But the team can start evaluating 2022 and 2023 contributors, looking to start writing their next chapter relatively soon.