The Chicago Cubs find themselves in an impossible situation this offseason

BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 16: Kris Bryant #17 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates with teammate Javier Baez #9 after the Cubs defeated the Baltimore Orioles 8-0 during a game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 16, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 16: Kris Bryant #17 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates with teammate Javier Baez #9 after the Cubs defeated the Baltimore Orioles 8-0 during a game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 16, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs’ present and future weigh on the shoulders of Jed Hoyer this offseason. Will he stick with his stars or move on from them?

You think you have it tough shopping for your significant other, three children, and four nieces this holiday season. Try filling Jed Hoyer’s shoes as he weighs the Chicago Cubs‘ present vs. their future through educated guessing and wishful thinking.

Here are the challenges that Hoyer and the Chicago Cubs face this offseason:

Three of Chicago’s famed core players have expiring contracts at the end of the 2021 season. Anthony Rizzo‘s 7-year/$41 million deal comes to an end, as does Kris Bryant‘s and Javier Baez‘s arbitration eligibility. Hoyer must soon decide which player, or players, he wants to pay for the extended future – if any of them.

He could trade each integral piece for a collection of younger pieces, a strategy that could catalyze a Cubs farm system ranked 23rd-best in baseball by MLB.com. If doing so, Hoyer commits to a full-on rebuild, which will set the team back for however many years and will rattle a Cubs’ faithful that backed the “championship or bust” mantra the past four seasons.

To make matters more difficult for Jed Hoyer, none of his marquee players with expiring contracts had anything close to a decent 2020 season. Rizzo come out the best with a .222 batting average, .342 OBP, and 103 OPS+. That leaves Javier Baez/Kris Bryant in the cellar with their .203/.206 batting averages, .238/.293 OBPs, and 59/73 OPS+s.

Trade leverage for each player only suffered, and after seasons like those, one begins doubting whether Rizzo, Baez, or Bryant are worth keeping.