3 Cubs Players Least Likely to Still Be on the Roster by the End of 2020

Theo Epstein pulls all the strings for the Chicago Cubs, but what's his next big move?
Theo Epstein pulls all the strings for the Chicago Cubs, but what's his next big move? / Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

It feels like the Chicago Cubs have been in a championship hangover since the 2016 World Series season. The roster that broke the curse was not a one-and-done type roster. It was a young core built from years of struggle, trades and draft picks. It was one expected to win more than one championship, or at least make the World Series again, but the closest the Cubbies have come was another NLCS appearance in 2017.

The following two campaigns tailed off earlier, and Chicago didn't factor in a playoff series in either year, despite having the same core that won a ring mostly intact. Former manager Joe Maddon has now parted ways with the Cubs, and the state of the roster is in flux. In the upcoming year, these three players are least likely to remain on the team by the end of 2020.

3. Willson Contreras, C/OF

Willson Contreras has already been shopped around the MLB trade market.
Willson Contreras has already been shopped around the MLB trade market. / Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Cubs President of Operations, Theo Epstein, and crew have crunched the numbers, and they will not be able to re-sign everyone from their core. That's a group that includes Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber, Kris Bryant and catcher Willson Contreras. At least one or maybe two of these players will likely end up being traded for proper compensation in an attempt to quickly re-tool the franchise financially, rather than rebuilding it. The major question is, which players will stay and which will go? Contreras has already been linked to trade rumors this offseason, but he's not the only one.

2. Jose Quintana, SP

Jose Quintana should be a trade asset in 2020.
Jose Quintana should be a trade asset in 2020. / Denis Poroy/Getty Images

This one just makes sense from a logistical standpoint. Jose Quintana is an impending free agent in 2021, meaning 2020 will be a contract year for the starter. Quintana actually bounced back in 2019, after a rough season the year prior, and now he's entering his age 31 campaign, but this is less about performance than it is circumstance. In a market starved for consistent starting pitching, the career Chicago hurler (White Sox and Cubs) could be prime trade bait for the Cubbies at the deadline if the playoffs seem out of reach. Signs from management could be pointing to a re-haul of Cubs' assets, and they would be foolish to let Quintana walk without getting something back.

1. Kris Bryant, 3B/OF

2020 could be "sayonara" for Kris Bryant.
2020 could be "sayonara" for Kris Bryant. / Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Looping back to Contreras above, the other main positional player floated in trade rumors has been Kris Bryant. Although the third baseman's RBI numbers have not been the same since his first two seasons in the league (2015-16), his overall numbers have still been decent most years. Entering his prime at age 28 in 2020, Bryant has a ton of value around the MLB as a plus defender who can also rake at his full potential, and Epstein seems content on parting ways with him over a player like Baez. If Bryant does get dealt, there will almost certainly be mixed opinions from the fans, but this is a business after all, and Epstein knows that better than most.

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Michael Obermuller is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Michael also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username king_mizzard. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.