The Cubs have just been crowned as the world champions after completing the season with the highest points. The Chicago Cubs won the World Series in 2016 for the first time since 1908 when they last grabbed the championship. It has been a long journey, and the fans are amazed by the great performance and form the team was in last season.
Being at the throne is challenging because all opponents are trying to bring you down. For the Cubs, it is a different story. There are higher chances that their dominance in the National Baseball League will continue from now on. I don’t expect their performance to go down anytime soon. Even after a shaky start last season, they managed to get up and improve the performance till they won the Series. Here are some reasons why the Chicago Cubs are still favorites in the new campaign.
Despite David Ross being on the verge of retiring from his position, the team can still feel safe because they have found a perfect replacement. The emergence of Willison Contreras who is just 24 years old has boosted the team. He already appears settled to fill in the big gap that will be left after David has retired. He impressed in different tournaments where he was started by the coach. He will be a reliable player to the team who also can cheer up the rest of the squad.
Most players signed by the Cubs have renewed their contract extending the time they will be in the club. No players will be leaving in the next three years hence the performance is expected to improve and become more experienced. Anthony Rizzo who is 26 signed a new contract which keeps him up to 2021. Addison Russell is only 22 and has signed a contract that goes up to 2021. The world class player, Ben Zobrist has also been added a few more years and a pay raise on his contract. Despite his age and less play time, he is the most influential and experienced player on the team. The management has decided to keep him on the team till 2019.
The Cubs are focusing on signing a new defender and baserunner. They have identified their ideal target as Jason Heyward. He was named the best defender last season and adding him to a side that has just been crowned the world champions will be a great deal. A few changes are expected to be done in the playing role. Kyle Schwarber will play in the left field. He has also renewed his contract with the club thus he will have time to get used to the new role and cement his position in the squad.
The rotation of the squad will happen at the start of the season. Cubs will pick Jason Hammel for a $ 10 million team option with Jake Arrieta and John Lackey under the same contract. The contracts keep the players in the club up to 2021.
For years, the Cubs have been a favorite club for many players. Signing new players is not a problem because it is a great club. With the new title, more players will be willing to join the side that has the potential to defend its title and win it back. The Cubs want to sign in a free market where they have many players to choose from and also keep their budget down. There are many places to sign bullpens and Cubs are ready to get started as they have always done in the last years. It is going to be an fantastic season seeing the world champions face the stiff challenges from their opponents.