Chicago Cubs second-half preview: Bright future, bleak present
Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci previews the second half of the MLB season for the Chicago Cubs
Standing: 5th in NL Central
Batting Average: Starlin Castro, .276
Home Runs: Anthony Rizzo, 20
ERA: Travis Wood, 4.96
The Cubs are again flailing in last place in the NL Central, 12 games back of first and 8.5 back of the fourth-place Pirates. Out of the playoff race, the Cubs were early sellers at the trade deadline, participating in the biggest deal to date. They sent starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics for top prospects Addison Russell and Billy McKinney, along with MLB starter Dan Straily.
There isn't much hope for the Cubs this season, but the future looks bright. They have a loaded farm system that includes infielders Russell, Javier Baez, Arismendy Alcantara and Kris Bryant, and outfielders McKinney and Jorge Soler.