The Chicago Cubs failed to plan for the end of their contention window adequately, letting four crucial performers reach free agency at the same time: when the 2021 season ends.
Having said that, they did a fantastic job getting value for their foursome: Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Craig Kimbrel, and Anthony Rizzo each brought pieces that will help replenish a very bad farm system.
Unlike the Colorado Rockies, the Cubs wisely decided it was time to tear it all down and start over with some nice prospects.
Which former Cub will have a bigger impact with his new team?
Let’s rank them.
4. Javier Baez
Baez is streaky and has holes in his swing, yet he has power, speed, grit, and excellent defense, so he will certainly help the Mets.
This season, he is hitting .245 with a .288 OBP, which is bad.
However, his power, showcased by his 23 homers, has helped him maintain a .772 OPS.
Baez has also contributed 13 stolen bases and is equally great at shortstop or second base.
He already sparked a Mets comeback win with a home run that turned a three-run game into a one-run affair over the weekend.
He will play shortstop while Francisco Lindor is injured, and move to second when he returns.
Both will greatly improve the Mets’ infield defense.
3. Craig Kimbrel
If you say Kimbrel has been the most dominant reliever in MLB this season, people would have no arguments to refute that statement.
After scuffling for two years with the Cubs, the power right-hander recovered his health and his command and is rocking a 0.47 ERA in 41 games.
He has 23 saves in 38.2 innings, with 66 (!) strikeouts and a minuscule 0.67 WHIP.
That’s insane and unfair.
So the back of the White Sox bullpen is now…
With Aaron Bummer and Garrett Crochet as potential lefthanded options
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) July 30, 2021
Good luck, American League hitters.
2. Anthony Rizzo
Rizzo is made for Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees home has a short right field porch, and Rizzo is already starting to take advantage of it, with two home runs in the series against the Miami Marlins.
He will hit lots of homers at home and also contribute his excellent on-base skills (.357 OBP, .824 OPS).
Rizzo has had crucial, game-changing hits and moments in all three games he has played with a Yankees uniform.
Yankees fans are already in love with him, and in a way, he offers several things that their regular at the first base position, Luke Voit, doesn’t.
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) August 1, 2021
For starters, Rizzo flashes a great leather, and is also more durable.
He is also left-handed, which helps balance the lineup.
Among the Cubs that changed teams at the deadline, Rizzo is sure to contribute a lot to the Yankees.
1. Kris Bryant
The Giants got their man without giving up a lot in terms of talent.
Evan Longoria has been very good when healthy this year, but Bryant will bring some stability to the lineup and some versatility to the defensive alignment.
Longoria should return in less than a week, but Bryant is capable of playing the outfield corners and also first base.
If you add that to a team in need of reliable sluggers, Bryant fits in perfectly.
For the season, he is hitting .267 with a solid .357 and a nice .866 OPS.
He has hit 19 home runs so far, and already had his first with his new team.
He will greatly improve the Giants’ already solid roster.