The Cubs Have Everything They Need To Become A Dynasty
The Chicago Cubs made history this season after winning their first World Series title in 108 years. It has been a long wait for one of the most popular franchises in baseball, but fans are already planning towards 2017. Can the Cubs repeat their title? Will they sit back and become complacent after this year’s title? Do they have enough talent to become the latest dynasty in MLB?
Turns out, they can. And all signs point towards the Cubs being extra competitive at least until 2021 or 2022. That’s a five-year championship window where they’ll be among the favorites to win it all on a yearly basis. And that’s something Chicago isn’t going to take for granted, especially considering where the team was only a few years ago.
Let’s start with the pitching, as the Cubs had the best rotation in 2016. Their top three starters (Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks) will return, and John Lackey is a capable fourth starter. They parted ways with Jason Hammel, but that’s for the best. Chicago has enough prospects to acquire a young, cost-controlled pitcher via trade that could bolster the rotation even more.
Analyzing the bullpen, we can see the Cubs could use an upgrade or two here. But even considering how volatile bullpens can be, the Cubs still have a solid foundation. Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon, Mike Montgomery and Justin Grimm aren’t going anywhere. Carl Edwards Jr. came into his own last season and flashed some closer potential at times. And while Travis Wood and Aroldis Chapman are not returning, there are plenty of options on the market. It also doesn’t hurt that the Cubs are reportedly interested in Kenley Jansen, one of the best closers available. They might not assemble a lockdown bullpen, but it should be good enough to hold down the fort.
Last but not least, we have the offense, Oh my god, the Cubs’ offense. Headlined by the reigning NL MVP Kris Bryant, Chicago has one of the most prolific lineups in all of baseball. Here’s how their Opening Day lineup is projected:
C: Willson Contreras (hits free agency in 2022)
1B: Anthony Rizzo (hits free agency in 2022)
2B: Javier Baez (hits free agency in 2022)
SS: Addison Russell (hits free agency in 2022)
3B: Kris Bryant (hits free agency in 2022)
LF: Kyle Schwarber (hits free agency in 2022)
CF: Jason Heyward (hits free agency in 2024)
RF: Ben Zobrist (hits free agency in 2020)
That’s an authentic Murderers’ Row. It has on-base percentage with Rizzo, Bryant and Zobrist. There’s power as well, as every batter with the exception of Heyward can hit at least 15 to 20 HR. There’s stellar defense too, as Heyward and Rizzo just won the Gold Glove while Baez is likely to collect a few throughout his career. But most of all, there’s an age factor. As listed above, every single player in that lineup is cost-controlled for a few more years. And with the exception of Zobrist, all of them are 30 or younger. This is a scary fact that should terrorize the opposing NL franchises.
The Cubs are very good, but they are only scratching the surface of their potential. They have everything on their side to become baseball’s next dynasty.
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