Yes, the Cubs MIGHT trade Anthony Rizzo.

Yesterday we published a column about the Cubs’ FUTURE LEFT FIELDER(s) and an intriguing young man named Kyle Schwarber.

When I started working on the piece more than two months ago, it was just going to be about Mr. Schwarber, and I got a couple of great conversations on the record. But I wasn’t persistent enough in my reporting, and wound up just sitting on the material I had. Hoping it would come in handy this spring.

Which it did, yesterday.

Somehow, the piece seemed to strike a nerve. Maybe because of the reporting, or maybe (probably) because Kyle Schwarber’s so intriguing. Anyway, in the course of all this I made some efforts to divine the future. Which is exceptionally difficult in the best of circumstances, with nearly perfect knowledge. Which I don’t have, seeing as how I don’t actually work for the Chicago Cubs. 

Most of the response was positive, but there were a fair number of things like this:

No, that is most assuredly NOT what I am saying.*

*When I respond to people in this way, some of them will inevitably think I’m taking it personally. No. If you curse at me, or tell me how to write or what to write, I will take that personally. This is different. I take this sort of thing professionally. As in, as a professional it’s difficult for me to function if you’re not taking the care to read what I’ve actually written.

What I am saying is that I think there won’t be room for both Schwarber and Rizzo in the lineup, not for long anyway. Considering that Schwarber’s never played first base, he’s probably the one who gets shipped off. But who knows? Maybe the Cubs end this Grand Backstopping Experiment tomorrow, and see if he takes to first base in Iowa. Just, you know, to see.

Well, let’s say he takes to it pretty well. Mike Napoli did. And let’s say next winter some team comes to the Cubs and offers them a young, top-notch center fielder for Rizzo (and his wonderfully team-friendly contract). Is it truly unimaginable that the Cubs would say yes?

I would argue that if you can’t imagine such a thing, you should go through some sort of regression therapy and try to reëstablish contact with your youthful imagination. Because right now you’re living a barren existence.

Major League Baseball is an incredibly dynamic enterprise. Did you imagine, two years ago, that Josh Hamilton would today be the TEXAS RANGERS’ every-day left fielder? No, you did not. None of us did. And if you couldn’t have imagined that, how can you know where Anthony Rizzo will be in three years?

Really, my biggest complaint — and I know I shouldn’t complain, because I do know how lucky I am to have you, Dear Reader — is that so many people seemed to want binary answers in what’s so obviously a non-binary world. If Anthony Rizzo’s playing well and doesn’t cost much, he CANNOT be traded. Click. If Kyle Schwarber’s hitting and Rizzo’s not traded, the Cubs WILL find a place in the lineup for Schwarber somewhere. Click.

click click click click click

Alas, the world doesn’t work that way, friends. Not the whole world, not your world, not the baseball world. My guess is that there will, in two years, not be room in the lineup for both of them. But I’ll be more than happy to be surprised. See, non-binary worlds are actually a lot more interesting.