Hot Stove Becomes Dumpster Fire for NL Central

Major League Baseball’s offseason is affectionately known as the Hot Stove. It’s that wonderful time of year where rumors abound as teams begin wheeling and dealing with either sign or trade moves for the missing pieces to make them into champions. Fan bases either get excited or frustrated depending on what their favorite teams do or don’t do to improve. Even in the year of the pandemic, there has already been a big shakeup across the league.

The biggest surprise so far this offseason has to be the big shakeup happening in the National League’s Central Division. One of the most competitive divisions in baseball has become the Walmart of player acquisitions so far. Player after player has either been let go by their team or has been traded away. The result will likely turn one of the best divisions in baseball into one of the worst. Here’s what’s happened so far.

Cubs Breaking Up

It may seem hard to believe a team that looked poised to have a run of championships only managed one World Series in a window that should have yielded them more than just a single appearance on the game’s biggest stage. That’s exactly what has happened, though. If it wasn’t enough that manager Joe Maddon left after the 2019 season, the Cubs have now lost president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and traded away star pitcher Yu Darvish and catcher Victor Caratini to the Padres.

The hits keep on coming too. They also released World Series hero Kyle Schwarber. They may not even be finished yet as catcher Willson Contreras is said to be on the trading block as well. Call it the Great Chicago Fire of 2020.

Could 3B Kris Bryant be the next Cubs star to be traded? (Photo by Arturo Pardavila III)

Cardinals Going Broke

According to Cardinals owner Bill Dewitt, Jr., baseball isn’t that profitable an enterprise. To an extent, he’s actually right. The case is definitely true for many smaller market teams. Teams like the Cardinals are mostly dependent upon turnstile income. The coronavirus pandemic has left many small-market teams in a tough spot financially as several are letting go of good ballplayers to trim costs. The Cardinals are no exception.

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