For the third consecutive season, the Chicago Cubs failed to advance past the Wild Card Round of the playoffs after losing to the Miami Marlins on Friday. After winning the World Series in 2016, the Cubs haven't been able to produce similar results.
With that lack of success weighing on the club, Theo Epstein has indicated significant changes could be in store for his organization.
Theo: "Some change is warranted and necessary. ... Simply hoping for a better outcome going forward doesn't seem like a thoughtful approach."— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) October 5, 2020
If Epstein is looking to part ways with members of his core group in order to prepare for the future, he could look at Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant, who struggled greatly against the Marlins. The trio went 1-for-24 combined in two games against Miami after they all struggled at the plate throughout the regular season.
Baez and Bryant are eligible for arbitration this offseason and set to become unrestricted free agents after the 2021 campaign. Rizzo also is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2021 season but is currently under contract.
With those three players not having much time left on their current deals, Epstein could be looking to move them in exchange for some assets. However, he acknowledged that he has faith in the core group, recognizing both their successes and struggles.
Theo: "We've had a lot of belief in this group, to our benefit. ... And if one wants to turn that around and say that's been to our detriment the last three Octobers? I can own that, too."— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) October 5, 2020
If the Cubs make changes this offseason, Epstein likely will supervise them as he expects to return for the final year of his contract.