5 Players Chicago Cubs Could Sever Ties With This Offseason

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Chicago Cubs: Five Players Possibly Leaving

Jerry Lai – USA Today Sports

This could be a make-or-break season not just for the Chicago Cubs on the field, but also for the front office led by Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and company.

The Cubs are entering their third year in the rebuilding process after losing almost 200 games combined in the first two years, and they do it with a lot of questions going forward both on and off the field.

Who will be the new manager? Will there be any significant upgrades in the field? Are they planning to pursue a big-name free agent? Is there any pitching help on the way? These are just some of the things the Cubs need to plan for going forward, but the first thing they should focus on the on-field product.

There are five players that the Cubs could discard going to the next season without suffering much of a loss in the team’s plans. Some are quality elements that aren’t willing to extend their deals, others are merely stopgaps until the prospects arrive; in some cases, there’s a lack of offensive skill for a team that needs to score more in order to win. Whatever the case might be, the five players that will be mentioned are players that, albeit good ones, could leave the Cubs without affecting the team’s plans in the long-term picture.

Without further ado, please join me through this slideshow so we can check out the five players that the Chicago Cubs could sever ties with this offseason.

Juan Pablo Aravena is a sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @jparavenarant or add him to your network on Google

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5. Jeff Samardzija - SP

David Banks – USA Today Sports

Personally, I don’t think Theo Epstein or Jed Hoyer are thinking about letting Jeff Samardzija go this season as he’s one of the most talented pitchers in the National League. But, they might be forced to do it as the former reliever isn’t willing to accept the terms that the front office has offered regarding an extension. If no agreement is reached, he could be used as trade bait as he would bring an impressive return in terms of prospects.

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4. Darwin Barney - 2B

Rick Scuteri – USA Today Sports

Darwin Barney has stellar defensive skills that already gave him a Gold Glove last year, but his bat is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. The second baseman isn’t known for his offense and with the Cubs lacking offense-oriented players, they could trade Barney and put one of the prospects (Javier Baez or Arismendy Alcantara) in his place.

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3. Brian Bogusevic - OF

Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

Brian Bogusevic did fairly well last season as he saw action in a limited role, but it’s unclear how the former Houston Astros player could perform at a full-time position. The Cubs are rumored to be on the market for an outfielder this offseason. They already re-signed Ryan Sweeney and have Nate Schierholtz and Junior Lake under contracts, so if any outfielder is on his way out, it could be Bogusevic.

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2. Donnie Murphy - IF

Dennis Wierzbicki - USA Today Sports

Donnie Murphy enjoyed a lot of success in limited play this past season as he was able to showcase power (11 HRs in 149 AB), but it seems like he won’t have a position this next year. With Arismendy Alcantara and Javier Baez as possible choices to enter at second base if Darwin Barney is traded, and the presence of Mike Olt and Luis Valbuena at third, it doesn’t seem like Murphy will have a shot to stick with the team going forward.

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1. Brett Jackson - OF

Jake Roth - USA Today Sports

It’s somewhat strange that Brett Jackson is still with the organization. He was a September call-up in 2012 and struggled mightily, so he was demoted to the minors for this past season. Several injuries and a revamped swing that couldn’t solve his early contact problems pushed him all the way back to Double-A Tennessee. With all the young talent slated to arrive rather sooner than later, it doesn’t seem likely that the former top prospect will return to the Cubs for the 2014 campaign.

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