It’s that time of year. Teams at this time of year have the option to rebuild or reload. For some teams it’s never rebuild, it’s reload. Examples include the Red Sox and the Yankees, teams that will have an endless budget. But then, there are average teams like the Cubs that will have to rebuild, even if the fans don’t like it.
For the Cubs, it is such a difficult decision. On one hand, there is common sense. That tells you that fans won’t like it if they rebuild, especially if the Cubs got rid of Bryant, or Rizzo, or Baez. But on the other hand, there is also common sense and a cold truth. The Cubs will not win a World Series with this team. The sooner that they realize this, the happier they will be.
It’s December 15, 2016. The Cubs are debating what to do, although “debate” isn’t exactly the right word. The are more or less deciding the Cubs’ future in a couple of minutes. It seemed obvious that the Cubs would keep their foot on the gas, although later they found out that they forgot to reload the tank.
The Cubs had reigning NL MVP Kris Bryant, All-Star Anthony Rizzo, Addison Ruessell, and a ton of all-stars. The pitching, all though isn’t was amazing, was decent. It looked like the Cubs would make a deep playoff run, possibly back to back World Series championships. That year the Cubs DID make a playoff run, although it was only to the NLCS where they were blown out.
After a playoff run it is pretty obvious that one should keep their foot on the gas. And they did. It made perfect sense. The 2016 World Series team was pretty much still there, and in 2017 it was still a good year that just ended against a better Dodgers team. In 2018 they were in the lead for the NL Central the whole year, but then the Brewers got hot. Stupid hot. The Brewers overtook the Cubs in the last week of the season, and they actually tied the Division. It came to a one game playoff, where the winner would take the Central. The Brewers won the game 3-1, resulting in the Cubs taking the first wild card spot. In the Wild Card, the Cubs lost 2-1 in 18 INNINGS. That ended the season for the Cubs
Now it’s December 15, 2018. The Cubs’ decision room is in panic. What do they do? Do they reload, or rebuild? They answered reload, and that could have a toll on the future.
In 2019 the Cubs went 84-78, and they finished 6.0 GB in the Wild Card. It was a disaster. They collapsed under pressure at the end of the season.
That brings us to this year. What will the Cubs do? In my opinion, they have to rebuild. They need to trade some stars for prospects, and they need to knock down the structure.
Will this decision be popular? Will the fans like it? No. No, no, no. The fans will hate it, but it is necessary. The Cubs are screwed up, ad if the goal is to win, they are far from it. It won’t look good at the start. It never does. Their record will be about 70-92. We’ve seen it with other teams before, most notably the Cubs themselves. It took 108 years between #2 and #3, will it take 108 years between #3 and #4? My answer is no. The Cubs will make the right decision.
It won’t be pretty, but they can do it. They did in 2016, and they will do it again. It might not be until the 2030’s but that’s better than the 2107.