So far this offseason, trade rumors surrounding Cubs players have mostly focused on Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras.
Rosenthal’s piece is quite interesting. The first 20 paragraphs at that link involve the rumors surrounding a possible trade of Francisco Lindor, so you can read or ignore, as you choose.
Then Rosenthal writes:
Before revealing another interesting but unlikely trade proposition, let’s start with a warning for all of the aggregators who will steal — er, repurpose — all of the information in this column, oversimplifying it for readers, some of whom will overreact in kind.
Pretty sure he’s talking about us here! I’m not going to oversimplify nor overreact to what Rosenthal put in his piece. He goes on to say there is “no momentum” on any deal that would send Kyle Schwarber to the Yankees, and “chances are there never will be.”
Still! Even after writing that, Rosenthal goes on to pen 13 more paragraphs on a possible trade of Schwarber and why he would likely not be a good fit for the Yankees (primarily because New York already has Giancarlo Stanton as their fulltime DH for the next eight years and that Schwarber has never played first base professionally).
The key in the article, though, for us as Cubs fans, is this:
Trading Schwarber and Bryant would seem excessive for a team that intends to contend in 2020. The Cubs, however, are hellbent on avoiding the fates of teams such as the Phillies, Giants and Tigers, who entered down cycles after going all-in for extended periods in recent times. The Giants and Tigers are headed for their fourth straight losing seasons. The Phillies have not had a winning season since 2011.
The clock is ticking. A recalibration is in order. Let’s not forget, the Cubs are changing managers from Joe Maddon to David Ross. If the front office does nothing, it would place unfair expectations on Ross to win with Maddon’s team, a team that was less than the sum of its parts in finishing 84-78 last season.
All of this is true. And yet, there have been no moves made on the Cubs’ side so far this offseason, except for a depth signing, a waiver claim, a Rule 5 guy and a minor-league deal for a guy they hope will come back from injury.
It seems likely that Theo & Co. are waiting for the final resolution of Bryant’s grievance before they do anything. That was supposed to happen before the Winter Meetings, but at the Meetings, Theo Epstein said he hoped to have that resolved in the next few weeks.
I’m still convinced that among all the “core” of young Cubs veterans, that Bryant is the most likely to be traded. That seems to be the reason they’re waiting, because his trade value is different if he has only one year of team control remaining rather than two. Theo seemed fairly confident in his Winter Meetings statements that the Cubs would win the grievance, but you can never be certain about these sorts of things.
Further, this front office has always loved Kyle Schwarber for his potential as a hitter (which he began to show in the second half of 2019) and for his makeup as a person. I can’t imagine them trading him.
But as always, we await developments.