By Madeleine Stiffler
At some point, no matter what franchise or sport, teams rebuild. For the Chicago Cubs, their mistakes and bold actions during the trade deadline may have cost them the rest of the season. Since the team has shifted their focus to the 2022 season and beyond, what is in store for the Cubs until October, when it is determined whether or not they will make the playoffs?
There is no doubt that the Cubs are in a rebuilding period, their decisions during the trade deadline made it especially clear that the time is now for the team to start from scratch… sort of. However, the real question is how long will it take the Cubs to rebuild? Long time Chicago Cubs fan David Stiffler describes the Cubs currently as “teddy bears.” With fans still bitter and hurt from the trade period, emotions will not lighten up for them as the Cubs seemingly will not be able to make any important or long-term decisions regarding the rebuild until the offseason. Previously, the Chicago Cubs rebuild from the 2012-2013 season took four years to complete but Jed Hoyer, president of the Chicago Cubs, says his team is “in a better place than it was when he and Theo Epstein arrived in 2012.” Judging from Hoyer’s confidence in the Cubs during this time, it certainly seems like the team is looking to compete right away.
As a result of the Cubs desire to hit the ground running, the franchise will have to make big moves in the free-agent market and trade market. Acquiring young players in the team’s recent trades should hopefully benefit the team. Luckily, there is precedent of that framework having much success in the past. Likewise, the Cubs will have a budget of $41 million next season meaning they will have more financial leeway, something they have not had in many years. Come the offseason, there is no justification for them not to buy. Optimistic, Hoyer claims the Cubs “Have the ability to be opportunistic, and we have the ability to pivot if things come up.” Since the exit of Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, etc. it is obvious that the Cubs have several areas of development at the major-league level that must be handled before the 2022 season. Allegedly, the process of rebuilding has already begun. Not only does the Cubs legacy hopefully alter expectations now, but it is time for the team to step up and bring back the attitude previously had in 2015, 2016, and 2017.