Much talk regarding the Chicago Cubs probable trades of some of their remaining “core” players, Wilson Contreras and Ian Happ, mostly due to the big sell off last year.
One big difference this year, I think, is that the Cubs may be trading away the best catcher in baseball. As good as Bryant, Rizzo, and Baez were you can’t say they were the best at their positions. The last time the Cubs cast aside the best in his position was Gregg Maddux, and that trade might have contributed a decade or more of “same old Cubs” baseball.
It seems to be that Cubs ownership and front office don’t understand that there is a difference between turning a franchise around, as they did before 2016 and maintaining the culture that as built during the turnaround. Continual selling and tanking was warranted to turn around a 108 year problem, but that is NOT how you maintain the culture, in fact it destroys what culture that has been built.
The St. Louis Cardinals provides the template of excellence, and the Cubs should know this well since the Cardinals have been their main rival since the beginning of baseball time. The Cardinals prioritize re-signing players, even at the price of overpaying, to maintain their culture.
So far, the current Cubs ownership and front office has not had one major re-signing of player on their roster, and that sends a clear message. The message is sends is that while they might now how to turn a team around, they don’t know how to keep it at the top.