Chicago Cubs: Three young players to follow this year

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Chicago Cubs, Adbert Alzolay
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There was a lot of buzz about Chicago baseball this offseason, but not from the team on the north side of the city. For the Chicago Cubs, it was a time that left more questions than answers. As improbable as it seems, a rebuild may be on the horizon for the Cubs.

The Chicago Cubs frustrated fans in the offseason by shedding some top talent.

While the Chicago White Sox made more moves to bolster their already impressive roster, the Cubs were busy shedding talent. The team traded their best pitcher from last season and a Cy Young candidate in Yu Darvish. It was a shocking move.

Fans were perplexed that the Cubs would make the deal with the San Diego Padres without getting one of their top three prospects in return.

There were more embarrassments for the Cubs and their fans this offseason that didn’t involve the roster. Beloved play-by-play TV broadcaster Len Kasper is headed to the south side to cover the White Sox on the radio. It was an odd exit, to say the least.

The team’s own TV station, the Marquee Network, was routinely criticized. Some speculated the network’s dress code requiring the broadcast team to wear suits and ties was a reason for some tension with Kasper. That dress requirement was dropped for this season.

I’m not sure if that’s really the reason for Kasper’s departure but it’s an odd requirement for a broadcast team in this era. There weren’t many positive stories about the Cubs this offseason. Negative stories began to pile up.

Former 2016 World Series heroes Kyle Schwarber and Jon Lester signed deals with the Washington Nationals. Before the Darvish trade, the Cubs let pitcher Jose Quintana walk away in free agency. Then there was the insulting contract extension offer to first baseman Anthony Rizzo.

It hurts to say it but there’s not much to be optimistic about as a Cubs fan this season. Despite that, there are three young up-and-coming players you can focus on this season with eyes to the future.