MLB Trade Deadline: Cubs' Rebuild Begins As Rizzo, Bryant, Baez, Kimbrel Dealt

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Chicago Cubs Rizzo Bryant Baez
Javier Baez #9 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates with Anthony Rizzo #44 and Kris Bryant #17 following his RBI during the tenth inning of a game against the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field on September 16, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois.

The Chicago Cubs were this season’s biggest sellers at Friday's MLB trade deadline as they have unloaded several big names and fan favorites.

Down in the standings with little chance of recapturing their 2016 World Series magic, the Cubs traded first baseman Anthony Rizzo, third baseman Kris Bryant, shortstop Javier Baez, closer Craig Kimbrel, outfielder Jake Marisnick and bullpen pitcher Ryan Tepera

The Cubs’ moves come as their biggest stars Rizzo, Bryant, and Baez are all in contract years and will be free agents this winter. The Cubs looked like they were going to be buyers in mid-to-late June, when they were in first place in the National League Central.

But after throwing the franchise's first a combined no-hitter against the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers, what followed was an 11-game losing streak that left them 8.5 games behind the first-place Milwaukee Brewers.  

 

 

The first domino to fall in was Tepera as he was dealt to the cross-town rival Chicago White Sox for LHP Bailey Horn, who has posted a 2.63 ERA in eight games of Single-A ball so far this season. 

 

 

The biggest name had been Rizzo, who was traded to the New York Yankees in addition to their acquisition of Texas Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo. In return, the Cubs will receive OF Kevin Alcantra and RHP Alexander Vizcaino. This season Alcantra has been slashing .360/.448/.520. Vizcaino has posted an ERA of 7.50 in six games this season in the minors.

Rizzo recently passed fan-favorite Aramis Ramierez for sixth all-time in home runs with the team. In his career with the Cubs Rizzo hit .272/.372/.489 with 242 home runs, 871 RBI’s, and an OPS of .861. He was a three-time All-Star, won 4 gold gloves, a platinum glove, a silver slugger with the team. 

 

 

The next big bat to go was third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant to the San Francisco Giants. Bryant was named National League Rookie of the Year in 2015 and National League MVP in 2016. Bryant has proven to be one of the most versatile players in baseball as he has played six different positions this season, making him the most coveted hitter on the market.

Bryant has been the Cubs best player this season slashing .267/.358/.861 and is second in team home runs with 18. The Giants look to counter the blockbuster deal the rival Dodgers made last night acquiring ace pitcher Max Scherzer and All-Star shortstop Trea Turner from the Washington Nationals. 

 

 

Baez was traded to the New York Mets and the deal is set to be finalized pending medicals. Baez, known for his speed and his aggressive swing is a skilled shortstop who won a gold glove in 2020 and has grown to be a fan favorite in Chicago. Baez is hitting .248/.292/.484 and is leading the team in home runs with 22. 

The trio of Rizzo, Bryant, and Baez made up the core of the Cubs lineup since 2015 and were key contributors in the Cubs 2016 World Series championship, giving the North Side their first World Series crown since 1908. The trio will be fondly remembered for being the best players in the greatest era of Cubs baseball. 

 

 

Kimbrel was to the Chicago White Sox for second baseman Nick Madrigal and RHP Codi Heuer. In his career, Kimbrel has proven to be one of the greatest closers of all time as he ranks ninth on the all-time save list. Kimbrel has been the most coveted reliever on the market as he has recorded 23 saves this season with a 0.49 ERA, making his eighth career all-star appearance this season. 

 

 

Outfielder Jake Marisnick was sent to the San Diego Padres for Anderson Espinoza, who has posted an ERA of 5.20 in 12 games in the minors this season. Marisnick has batted .227 with 5 home runs so far this season.

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