Chicago Cubs: Reasons championship window is quickly closing

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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs, Ian Happ
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Reason #3: Lack of Minor League talent

To me, this is one of the biggest reasons for the lack of success over the last three Cubs seasons. However, it’s also tough to overlook the fact that the Cubs traded top-tier prospects to acquire the final pieces necessary to win in 2016 and 2017.

The end of both of those seasons was drastically different, but the Cubs traded away shortstop Gleyber Torres among others to acquire hard-throwing reliever Aroldis Chapman in 2016. The closer was a huge reason the Cubs made it to the World Series.

Despite manager Joe Maddon running Chapman into the ground by game 7 of the World Series that year, it proved to Cubs fans that the aggressive moves the front office made were worth the risk.

The result wasn’t the same in 2017 as the team acquired pitcher Jose Quintana from the White Sox. While Quintana has been serviceable for the Cubs, they gave up star outfielder Eloy Jimenez as well as pitcher Dylan Cease to get him.

Those prospects would look great on the Cubs roster now. It stings to see those players in the Southsider’s uniforms, but lack of minor league depth is a bigger issue.

Apparently, the Cubs front office is focused on fixing this problem. They’ve changed their research and development department’s strategy. The team is also investing more in their minor league franchises.

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It’s at least encouraging to know the front office recognizes they need to improve at the minor league level. I’ll stay cautiously optimistic that the farm system will improve, and return to one of the best in baseball.