Five games above .500, the North Siders would earn a wild card berth if the playoffs started today.

There are still some areas that need improvement, though, like the back-end of the rotation, left field and the bullpen — the mere mention of which now causes Cubs fans to wince.


The biggest trade chip on the roster right now may be shortstop Starlin Castro, who is one of many prized infielders in an organization that also possesses Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Javier Baez.

One option that is gaining steam is to shift Bryant from third base to left field and re-introduce Baez to the infield. Baez is batting .296 at Triple-A Iowa this season and may have turned the corner with his offense. Last year he struck out 95 times in 213 at-bats after his promotion to the majors.