Chicago Cubs: 3 reasons the team can’t be sellers now

(Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
3 of 4
Chicago Cubs, Anthony Rizzo
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Reason #2

The Chicago Cubs core is playing way too well for anyone to think about dismantling.

Every offseason, fans wait patiently for news of a contract extension for one of the Cubs’ core players. Year after year, disappointment followed. This offseason was no exception as beloved Cubs’ first baseman Anthony Rizzo was offered an insulting contract extension.

Just before the season started, the Cubs reportedly offered Rizzo a five-year, $70 million contract.  Many analysts pointed out that an extension for Rizzo would likely be close to the contract of Cardinals’ first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who signed for five years, $130 million in 2019.

While Rizzo may not be worth quite as much as Goldschmidt at the moment, $70 is insulting for a guy who is clearly beloved by his teammates and Cubs fans. Rizzo’s contribution to the 2016 World Series run should entitle him to some loyalty from the franchise.

Other than Rizzo, questions remain about the status of the third baseman Kris Bryant. Another fan favorite, Bryant struggled with injuries and underwhelming numbers at the plate for the past two seasons. He’s now broken out of that slump and is hitting .316 with 12 HRs so far this year.

Then there’s shortstop Javier Baez. Like Bryant and Rizzo, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent in 2022. If the Cubs fail to extend Baez, fans just might lose it. Not only is he arguably the team’s best player but he’s also literally one of the most popular players in baseball.

Baez already went viral this season for his incredible baserunning tricks in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates last week. There’s no plausible reason for the Cubs to let him walk this offseason.

Catcher Willson Contreras will be eligible for arbitration after this season and will likely be given a hefty raise. I’ll admit it’s unlikely the Cubs will retain all four of these players but It’s going to be difficult for the front office and ownership to justify letting more than one go.