With their recent struggles, it’s possible the Chicago Cubs create some roster turnover in the upcoming weeks after disappointing performances.
The end of June couldn’t get here fast enough for the Cubs.
Chicago has gone 12-15 this month, falling out of first place as they now trail the division-leading Brewers by five games and they’re 5.5 games out of a Wild Card spot.
Adding more drama to the mix is whether or not the team will be buyers or sellers at the July 30 MLB trade deadline. Chicago’s main core of Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo have underperformed as of late, and given their looming free agency at season’s end it makes sense to move them if they fall further out of the playoff race. The problem is their poor play, which will make moving them for a valuable return difficult.
It also doesn’t make sense to unload on the team when they’re still in the playoff race. Despite the struggles, it was only a few weeks ago where the Cubs were in a prime position for the postseason.
Rather than blow up the team, owner Tom Ricketts and team president Jed Hoyer need to consider surrounding the team with better assets. The reinforcements will take some of the pressure off the team’s core, and will no doubt put the Cubs in a better position to compete in the second half of the season.
It’ll come at a cost of replacing current pieces, but it could be necessary given their poor performances this season.
Chicago Cubs: 4 veteran players who could be dealt ahead of the trade deadline
4. Cubs starter Jake Arrieta is a shell of his former self
Among the disappointments on the team this season is 2015 Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta.
The 35-year-old will forever live as a Cub legend, and his run of dominance from 2015-2016 is one of the greatest stretches from a starting pitcher in the history of baseball. In his final 88.2 innings pitched during the 2015 season, he allowed just four earned runs, equating to a 0.41 ERA.
Unfortunately, injuries and the toll of that dominant stretch took their toll on Arrieta when he left Chicago for Philadelphia from 2018-2020. He was never the same, and it’s apparent now more than ever in his return to the Cubs this season.
In 15 starts, Arrieta owns a 5.32 ERA, 1.493 WHIP, and a 5.60 FIP across 71 innings. He’s failed to record an out past the sixth inning in each of those outings, while also failing to record an out past the fifth inning in eight consecutive starts since May 14.
It’s a sad realization for diehard fans of Arrieta and the Cubs given what he’s accomplished for the franchise in the past, but right now he isn’t giving the team any production or consistency. There’s no value in a trade, so it’s more than likely a DFA is on the way unless he can turn it around soon.