Some would call the Hot Stove League — baseball’s offseason carnival of trades, free agent signings and fans of all teams hating Scott Boras — the second-best season in sports after baseball’s regular season. The 2019-2020 edition promises not to disappoint.

Will the Astros be banished to Hell? Will Derek Jeter continue destroying the once-proud Marlin dynasty? And, of course, there’s the nonstop speculation over trades and big-name free agent signings. All the big baseball insiders from Tim Kurkjian to Buster Olney have been plotting every possible trade and free agent landing spots since the Nationals defeated the Astros in as thrilling as a non-2016 World Series could be.

But you, dear reader, didn’t come in here for logical predictions from experts, you came for wild speculation and un-founded, illogical nonsense. So here they are, our top off-season predictions for your Cubs this winter:

  • Kris Bryant to the Red Sox for OF Mookie Betts and OF Ted Williams’ frozen head. This just seems too logical to not happen.
  • Kyle Schwarber and Albert Almora to the Yankees for RP Aroldis Chapman and Hal Steinbrenner. Both teams win, Schwarber should drop 65 homers into that short porch in right at Yankee Stadium and the Cubs get the kind of entitled blowhard front office figure head to for fans to really get on if the 2020 season goes south.
  • Send cash and a bucket of balls to the Royals for IF Whit Merrifield. K.C. is as cheap and broke as your uncle who’s been between jobs since 1994, the bucket of balls harks back to the mid-’80s when the Brewers completed a trade for P Tim Fortugno (playing for an independent league team) by adding a bucket of balls to a cash offer.
  • Willson Contreras to the Braves for Willson’s brother C William Contreras and OF Nick Markakis. It would make Thanksgiving awkward at the Contreras household and Markakis seems like he strikes out a lot less than most current Cubs.
  • Jose Quintana back to the White Sox for OF Eloy Jimenez. Clearly the Cubs didn’t call “black, black no trade backs,” so they should take advantage of a grade school-level technicality enforced by Mayor Lori Lightfoot to right this wrong.
  • Sign Anthony Rendon to a 6-year/$200 million contract. Who better to fill in for the departed Kris Bryant at third than the top position player on the market. And don’t worry fans, even though the team will be well over the luxury tax with this signing and Betts’ new contract they’ll probably only raise the price of a beer at Wrigley by $5 at the most. Or $6…

See you in Arizona for Spring Training!

Patrick Olson