The great sell off of the 2021 Chicago Cubs is now complete. Why it happened is not relevant at this point, we can’t change the past. These are all of the prospects the Cubs acquired in the sell off. Looking through the group it’s apparent the Cubs acquired more developmental players that are a few years away instead of major league ready players. I was devastated that out of all the trades, Austin Martin was not part of any deal. Martin is the 16th overall prospect out of the Top 100 from Toronto that ended up going to Minnesota in the Jose Berrios deal. I’d love to know if Kyle Hendricks could have gotten the same package from the Blue Jays.
SS Reginald Preciado, SS Yeison Santana, OF Ismael Mena, OF Owen Caissie, 1B Bryce Ball, 1B/OF Greg Deichmann, RHP Daniel Palencia, LHP Bailey Horn, RHP Alexander Vizcaino, OF Kevin Alcantara, 2B Nick Madrigal, RHP Codi Heuer, OF Alexander Canario, RHP Caleb Killian, OF Pete Crow-Armstrong, RHP Anderson Espinoza. 5 former or current All-Star players were sent away in the sell off and not a single player acquired is on the MLB Top 100 prospects list. Madrigal and Heuer are the only major league ready players out of the group. On the surface that doesn’t paint the Cubs front office in a good light.
The reality is looking into these players, many of them haven’t even played Double A baseball. I don’t think it’s fair to judge the Cubs front office yet as these were long-term moves. A lot of faith is being put in the minor league developmental staff to get the most out of these players. Nick Madrigal is a building block that should be the starting 2B in 2022. Madrigal is a good contact hitter that gets on base and more importantly doesn’t strike out. Greg Deichmann has a career .346 minor league OBP and should be a fast track player. At age 26, why isn’t Deichmann already in the show? Reginald Preciado is a Shortstop at the moment, but may physically be better suited for the Hot Corner. Owen Caissie, Kevin Alcantara, and Alexander Canario profile to be power hitting corner outfielders. Pete Crow-Armstrong looks to be your center fielder/leadoff hitter of the future.
Moving to the pitching prospects, Codi Heuer should have the opportunity to have a high leverage role in the Cub bullpen right away. Bailey Horn is a power lefty that grades out the back-end of a starting rotation. Caleb Killian is a college pitcher that grades out as a back-end starter. Alexander Vizcaino is working as starter in the minors, but could transition to the bullpen if the command doesn’t develop. Daniel Palencia is a young player that is multiple years away from being major league ready. Anderson Espinoza is a smaller stature hurler with 2 Tommy John surgeries already on his resume.
The Cubs will have a long way to go to get back respectability. LHP Brailyn Marquez and OF Brennan Davis are considered the Cubs top 2 prospects. Both may be up in 2022. Willson Contreras is in Chicago for now, but when Miguel Amaya is ready does Contreras get sent off for more prospects? I can see 2022 and 2023 being developmental seasons with stop gap players filling out the major league roster until many of these players are ready for the show. 2024 may be when the Cubs start to show signs of being competitive. A lot can happen between now and then so we’ll see.