The Chicago Cubs currently sit in last place in the NL Central division. Just shy of the halfway point of the season, the team sits ten games under .500 ready to open up a ten-game homestand. Over the last few seasons, they have developed the art of the turn and burn by trading veteran players or reclamation projects into prospects for their farm system. This year, all signs point toward another summer of that same strategy. However, should the Cubs really be sellers at this year’s trade deadline? Perhaps not.
In the month of June, the Cubs have actually played much better baseball. The team is coming together under first-year manager Rick Renteria. On the last road trip, the Cubs were able to win two road series for the first time in a long time. Now with their next ten games at home where Chicago has a winning record, could the Cubs make a minor run? They will meet two divisional opponents as well as a quality team from the NL East. It may be a long shot, but a good showing in these next few games just may put the Cubs within shouting distance of the Wild Card. Granted they still have to leap over a ton of other clubs, but crazier things have happened out on the diamond this year.
Overall, the starting pitching has been good all season led by Jeff Samardzija and Travis Wood. But surprisingly, Chicago has also seen solid efforts put in by Jason Hammel and Jake Arrieta. The Cubs currently do not really have any big league ready arms down in the minors. With all of the trade rumors swirling around Samardzija, why not just lock him up to a deal and build a core with the guys already towing the rubber every fifth day?
The 2014 season has also seen the reemergence of team leaders Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro who are both having All-Star worthy first halves. Also making headlines recently is top prospect Kris Bryant. Just this week Bryant has won a Home Run Derby Contest, has been promoted to AAA and in his first game at the AAA level proceeded to crush an opposite field home run. Why not just throw caution to the wind, get the fanbase on the edge of their seats and bring the top minor league talent up to the big show now. Bryant and Javier Baez are showing that they are getting very close to being major league ready. For good measure, even first-round pick from two weeks ago Kyle Schwarber is off to a good start early on in his career.
Provided that there are no rain-outs during the home stand, it will also be fitting that the Cubs’ 81st game of the year will be against the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. It will mark the exact halfway point of the season as Theo Epstein will return to his roots. It is no secret that the Cubs are trying to emulate the Red Sox not only on the field, but around the historical ballpark as well. Many of the proposed stadium upgrades of Wrigley Field are being aimed to replicate the Fenway area landscape.
With the trade deadline a month away, the Cubs should consider taking their name off of the sellers list. They should invest in the pieces that they have groomed over the last few seasons with guys like Samardzija, Bryant, Baez and Co. The Cubs should make a bold statement by going for it. Doing that would also help leave a lasting impression on this 100th Anniversary season of Wrigley Field as well. Do they really need to turn and burn another summer at the trade deadline? Perhaps not.
Nick Schaeflein is a Chicago Cubs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.