The Chicago Cubs might lose some major contributors in 2020.
The Chicago Cubs made the playoffs in David Ross’ first year as manager, but an embarrassing loss against the Miami Marlins in the postseason stands as more proof that this roster needs a serious facelift as the dead weight from the last two down seasons are jettisoned.
The Cubs will need to rework the roster again if they want to contend in arguably the toughest division in the league, and that reworking might mean letting these three free agents go rather than giving in to the urge to keep the band together after a somewhat successful 2020 season.
3. 2B Jason Kipnis
Kipnis was signed as a veteran Band-Aid in a Cubs middle infield that went from a position of strength to leaking coolant over the span of a few years. Kipnis showed that his glory days in Cleveland are firmly in the past, as his .237 average and three home runs did little to help the hometown hero win many supporters in the hearts of fans. Chicago will likely go younger and/or cheaper at second base next year.
2. SP Jose Quintana
The Cubs have to be kicking themselves for making this trade, as Eloy Jimenez is blossoming into a star across town while Quintana failed to tale the leap from solid starter to ace on the North Side. Injury problems limited Quintana to just four games in 2020, and his 4.24 ERA in 82 games as a Cub is certainly not the production that the Cubs expected. Chicago will be in the market for starting pitching, but you don’t need to be a genius to see that giving him a multi-year deal would make little to no sense.
1. SP Jon Lester
While Lester seems to be leaving the door open to a potential Cubs return after his huge contract expired in free agency, the most experienced member of this rotation has likely pitched his last game in Chicago. Better performance on his end might’ve made it more difficult for the Cubs’ front office to make a decision on his future, but a 5.16 ERA at the age of 36 isn’t the type of production that will entice Chicago to bring him back.