The only core piece that the Chicago Cubs seem incentivized to commit a future to, at least for right now, is infielder Javier Baez. Per reports, the franchise has already engaged in contract talks with the 27-year-old stud. The coronavirus outbreak has halted those negotiations, but Baez can definitely take solace in the fact that the Cubs are engrossed in extending him.
Don't be surprised if Chicago becomes motivated to pull off a blockbuster trade as it gears up for (potentially) one last run with Baez, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo in the same lineup. Here are three stars that could become available once the 2020 regular season gets underway.
3. Robbie Ray
If there's one component of the Cubs' roster that needs improvement, it's the pitching staff. Diamondbacks left-hander Robbie Ray has been shopped in the past, and he could be made available in a shortened season. The 2017 All-Star has racked up 33 wins and 618 strikeouts for Arizona across the last three seasons. Ray's experience would be invaluable to a Chicago side looking to bounce back from a pedestrian 2019 campaign.
2. Nolan Arenado
As little sense as it would make for the Cubs to trade their star third baseman (Bryant) for another in Nolan Arenado, the organization has reportedly shown interest in such a deal. Chicago hasn't exactly done right by Bryant, so it really wouldn't be surprising if it unloaded the former NL MVP for Arenado, who, despite what he says publicly, would love nothing more than a one-way ticket out of Colorado.
1. Francisco Lindor
We don't believe anything that the Cleveland Indians' front office says with regard to its plans for Francisco Lindor, who has become a prominent subject of trade talks with a lucrative contract extension looming. Cubs fans should have no hesitation warming up to a middle infield of Lindor and Baez, who is just as comfortable playing second base as he is at shortstop. The four-time All-Star would make a seamless transition to the Windy City.