Why the Chicago Cubs Losing Streak is Good for the Franchise

Why the Chicago Cubs Losing Streak is Good for the Franchise

by July 6, 2021 2 comments

Entering the 2021 season, there were not postseason expectations for the Chicago Cubs. It would be the last dance for their three stars in Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo together. Jed Hoyer, the new President of Baseball Operations, traded away 2020 NL Cy Young runner-up Yu Darvish to the San Diego Padres. He did not get much in return.

Meanwhile, the St. Louis Cardinals acquired future Hall of Famer Nolan Arenado, and were deemed the favorites to win the NL Central. Then, the worst thing happened for Hoyer and company: The Cubs actually started the season by winning games. Chicago found themselves at the top of the division and Kris Bryant was performing like an NL MVP candidate.

No way that fans would have allowed the front office to get away with trading Bryant, Baez, or Rizzo at that point. They were playing good enough to go on one more run before the team would be broken up. The only problem is that run they went on was not who the Cubs actually are.

Hoyer Has Clarity Now

The Cubs have now lost ten games in a row and find themselves 8.5 games back of the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central. This is the team many expected them to be this season.

Their pitching has been horrendous during the 10-game stretch. In five of these 10, the Cubs have surrendered at least six runs with the Brewers scoring 15 runs last Wednesday and Philadelphia scoring 13 on Monday night in Chicago. Everyone knew a rotation that contained soft throwers Kyle Hendricks and Zach Davies with a past-his-prime Jake Arrieta was not going to keep the Cubs in serious contention.

Now, Hoyer and the front office has clarity. The team on the field has confirmed the Cubs need to build for the future at the trade deadline. Had the Cubs kept winning through the All-Star break, it would have hurt the organization long-term, because one of their former All-Stars wouldn’t be traded. Therefore, the Cubs would not get young talent to bring into the farm system.

Cubs Should Use 2019 Giants as an Example

Remember the 2019 San Francisco Giants team? That was Madison Bumgarner‘s last season in a Giants uniform and Bruce Bochy was still the team’s manager. The Giants had the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks in their division so they were not expected to make the postseason. However, San Francisco went on a 19-6 stretch in July before the deadline and new general manager, Farhan Zaidi, had no choice but to give the fans what they wanted; keeping the team intact for one more run.

Zaidi had to do it, even when he knew deep inside that the 2019 Giants did not have the same firepower as the Nationals or the Cardinals. It hurt his rebuilding plan long-term, as he didn’t trade Bumgarner or All-Star closer, Will Smith, to return a young crop of talent. Instead, Zaidi lost both in free agency for only compensatory picks.

The Cubs Won’t Be Tricked

If Chicago would have kept winning instead of losing 10 straight games, Hoyer wouldn’t have had a reason to bring in players that will help the team in the future. Even should they go on another winning streak before July 30, Hoyer (and the fans) knows what the real version of the 2021 Cubs are. This 2021 team is similar to the 2019 Giants. They are not real contenders, but do have a large fan base, making it tough to pull the trigger on trading stars when the team surprisingly wins.

That trigger is now easier to pull.

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