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Chicago Cubs second-half preview: Bright future, bleak present

Verducci's Quick Pitch: Chicago Cubs

Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci previews the second half of the MLB season for the Chicago Cubs

Chicago Cubs

Record: 40-54

Standing: 5th in NL Central

Team Leaders:

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.

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