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Playoff Hopes Crushed, Cubs Could Look Very Different Next Year

The Cubs picked a bad time to go into a slump. 1 week ago they were ready to face their rivals and division leading St. Louis Cardinals hoping to sweep or at least win 3 out of 4 to try and gain ground in the NL Central Divinsion. Instead the Cardinals found every way possible to beat the Cubs in all 4 games at Wrigley Field this weekend. With 6 games left to play, the Cubs trail the Brewers by 4 games in the NL Wild Card and have pretty much put any post season hopes on life support.

Cub fans might see a lot of different faces with this team next year. Manager Joe Maddon’s contract is up. Joe took the Cubs to their first World Series in over 100 years, but he makes $5-million per season. The days of managers making that much have faded. It seems like a foregone conclusion that Maddon will not be back next year.
Kris Bryant’s contract will be up in 2 years. His Agent Scott Boras is one of the hardest to deal with. Don’t be surprised if the Cubs trade Bryant for some pitching help and young talent.

The biggest needs next year actually were needs at the beginning of this season. The Cubs management has to carry that part of the blame. The needs: a legitimate lead-off hitter and decent bullpen. Craig Kimbrel’s recent struggles are leaving Cub fans feeling stung with his $40 million dollar contract that was signed at the all-star break. But it’s probably too early to really judge Kimbrel’s impact. The Cubs would’ve been criticized for not signing one of the best closers in MLB history.  Kimbrel could turn out to be a huge piece of the puzzle. The Cubs will be losing major bullpen pieces; Brandon Kintzler, Steve Cishek, Pedro Strop, & Brandon Morrow. Not to mention Ben Zobrist, Nicholas Castellanos, Jonathan Lucroy, and starting pitcher Cole Hamels. It’s a new MLB but the Cubs need a table setter like KC’s Whit Merrifield or free agents OF Starling Marte of the Pirates, or a more economical solution like Washington’s Adam Eaton would like nice at the top of the order. Can’t say the Cubs didn’t spend any money. According to Sportrac, the Cubs had the 2nd highest payroll in all of MLB.

1 Boston Red Sox $229,121,106
2 Chicago Cubs $218,090,085
3 New York Yankees $218,019,037
4 Los Angeles Dodgers $200,600,814

One other big change next year, you won’t see the Cubs on “free” TV. You’ll have to pay for that with the new Marquee Network. Big changes

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