Cubs News: Five Bold Predictions for Spring Training and Beyond
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

Cubs News: Five Bold Predictions for Spring Training and Beyond

by - Correspondent -

With Super Bowl Sunday here and gone the sports focus now turns to the start of another major league baseball season. With big-name free agents still out there and with pitchers and catchers reporting in one week for the Chicago Cubs some of those questions still loom large. Here are 5 bold predictions for the Cubs this year:

1. Jake Arrieta will re-sign with the Cubs

One of the big names still on the market for Major League Baseball is Jake Arrieta and with the season looming the Cubs and Arrieta will agree to an offer in early to mid-March after spring training has hit the ground running. In an ever close NL Central, pitching is going to have the upper hand and Arrieta will want to go somewhere he feels comfortable and not miss a beat after a strange offseason.

2. Ian Happ will emerge as a premier player and Addison Russell will be dealt at the trade deadline.

It’s no secret that the Cubs or any team for that matter in the NL Central does not have a wealth of arms at the moment. The Cubs could be looking to make a deal for a long-term bullpen arm or a strong young rotational pitcher. Their decision could be made easier if Ian Happ progresses how we all hoped and forces the Cubs to make a move, paving way for Javier Baez to take over at short and Happ at second.

3. Jason Heyward will finally earn his contract at the plate.

The Cubs signed Jason Heyward to a lucrative contract, and since then they haven’t gotten the production they wanted from him at the plate. They signed him coming off the heels of a season where he had a slash line of .298/.359/.439 and was 23/26 on the basepaths. Since then he has not been able to replicate his success on the North Side and has posted career-low numbers his first two seasons. He will break out in a big way for Joe Maddon and his team.

4. The Only Cub to Throw a No-Hitter will be Tyler Chatwood

The newcomer to this rotation posted solid numbers in his time at Coors field despite playing in one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the League. In fact, the better part of Chatwood’s splits was on the road prompting Rockies fans to coin the phrase “Road Chatty” whenever he took the bump. He has posted a 1.69 ERA and a 3.49 ERA in his past two seasons to go along with 6.12 and 6.02 ERA totals at home. He should find a groove leaving Coors Field and will have the only No-No of the Cubs Season.

5. Anthony Rizzo will win NL MVP in 2018

Rizzo is the longest tenured Cub and has been in the mix for the National League MVP the last two seasons. Though he was a bit of an afterthought, he was still in the conversation with solid play for the North Siders. He will post career numbers as he will lead the Cubs for their 4th straight National League Central Crown and be named the National League’s most valuable player.

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