Last week, the Chicago Cubs defied the odds and finally won their first World Series Championship in the last 108 years. The team had a remarkable season as they won 103 games and were the consensus best team in the MLB throughout the regular season an post season. The Cubs were the best team since the 2009 Yankees due to their all-around depth. The Cubs are stacked with young stars, including perennial MVP candidates Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant. In addition, the team boasted 7 All-Stars, including 5 All-Star starters. Many believe that the Cubs will become a dynasty and win more than 3 World Series in the near future because of their depth, young stars, and financial ability to keep many of their young stars and sign potential free agents. All of the Cubs’ star positional players, Bryant, Rizzo, Contreras, Schwarber, Baez, and Russell, will all be on the roster until at least the 2022 season.
Although the Cubs seem to have an abundance of talent and youth, they will not become the first dynasty since the late 1990s Yankees because a multitude of reasons. The main reason why the Cubs will not win multiple World Series championship in the near future is their lack of pitching. This season, the Cubs were blessed with having 2 of the top 3 contestants in the NL Cy Young voting and the Cy Young winner from last season. However, there are major question marks after the top three because the team let Jason Hammel and John Lackey leave toward free agency. In addition, it must be seen if Kyle Hendricks can continue to pitch at a Cy Young level. Prior to this season, Hendricks was never a top of the rotation pitcher and never came close to resembling the same success. Hendricks does not have impressive stuff, which means that he has to continue pitching with a small margin for error. In addition to Hendricks, Lester is rising in age and he has already many thousands of innings on his shoulder. While the rest of the MLB struggles with arm issues and pitching injuries, the Cubs did not face any injuries to their starting rotation throughout the season. Although the pitchers have been models of consistency, it seems likely that at least one of their star pitchers will go down with a serious injury.
Another reason why the Cubs will face problems in the future is due to their lack of bullpen arms. During the trading deadline, the Cubs realized that they did not have enough fire power in the bullpen so they decided to trade one of their best prospects for Aroldis Chapman. However, the Cubs are losing Chapman this offseason to free agency. During the postseason, it became obvious that the Cubs were extremely reliant on Chapman to pitch during the most highly leveraged innings during games 5,6,7. The Cubs do not have many other options because their farm system is not stocked with high level pitching talent. Next year during the playoffs, the Cubs will not win the World Series if they are not able to sign or trade for great bullpen arms next season. The Indians and Royals showed in the past that teams can win with drastically lower talent as long as they have 3 or 4 consistent and dominant arms in the back of the bullpen.
Lastly, the Chicago Cubs will not win multiple WS in the future because of the level of competition in MLB. Although the Indians were not the most talented team in the league, especially due to their injuries, they showed that they could nearly defeat the Cubs as they pushed them to the 10th inning of Game 7 of the WS. Over the next few years, many teams with great rosters will challenge the Cubs for dominance. The few teams that will continue to battle with the Cubs will be the Red Sox, Yankees, Giants, Dodgers, and Nationals. The Red Sox may be the team with the most talent besides the Cubs and they also have the young talent to match the Cubs. The Red Sox have many great players including Betts, Bogearts, Bradley, Price, Pedroia, Kimbrel, and Porcello. If it was not for the brilliance of Andrew Miller, the Red Sox would have likely faced off against the Cubs. Similar to the Cubs, they have great hitting, but do not have the same talent in their starting rotation. Similar to the Cubs, the team has the financial wherewithal and prospects to acquire top level through free agency and trades. Similar to the Red Sox, the Yankees should be a force to be reckoned with over the next few years. The Yankees acquired a lot of young Major League talent during the trading deadline. In addition to the young prospects, the team will be major players in free agency over the next two years. In two years, there will be an incredibly amount of top level talent such as Harper, Machado, Harvey, and Kershaw. The Yankees will have hundreds of millions of dollars to spend, which should catapult them immediately into contention. The Giants, Dodgers, and Nationals are all similar teams that could challenge the Cubs. Each of the teams have top tier pitchers as well as MVP caliber players. Even besides these teams, it is possible that other teams surprise and play at a high level like the Indians for a few weeks. Baseball currently has a lot of parity in the game, which will ultimately lead to the demise of the Cubs’ chances of winning multiple WS.