The Chicago Cubs have been reluctant to spend money this offseason, while their competitors in the NL Central have a good chance to get much stronger. The St. Louis Cardinals going all out and trading for this available superstar could put the nail in the coffin for the Cubbies.
A rumored trade that sends the Colorado Rockies' five-time All-Star Nolan Arenado to the Cardinals could be exactly what the Cards need to bury the Cubs once and for all.
Adding Arenado to a roster that made the NLCS last year could make the Cardinals serious World Series contenders, even with potentially losing Marcell Ozuna in free agency. Having Arenado slot in the three-hole or at the cleanup spot, just behind Paul Goldschmidt and replacing an aging Matt Carpenter should have St. Louis fans salivating.
The Cubs are also linked with Arenado, but for a team that has not spent much in free agency, it is hard to see them taking on his massive contract while shedding a pre-extension Kris Bryant.
For a team that has not won the division since 2017 and has to compete with the Cardinals and Brewers, both of whom have high-quality squads, as well as the highly aggressive Reds, it might be time to say that the Cubs' era is already somehow closing.
Then again, a roster with players such as Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Javier Baez should never be counted out.