The Chicago Cubs had a very quiet offseason while other teams were signing high-priced free agents and pursuing trades for impact players, the Cubs front office added a backup catcher in George Kottaras and back end of the rotation starters Jason Hammel and Jason McDonald.
With patience running thin from the fans after watching another offseason go by without adding marquee talent to add to the roster to begin competing for division titles or at least a wild card playoff spot, the question remains if the front office of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are limited with a lack of resources.
“In the two previous offseasons, we’ve spent every dollar available to us, and this is the first winter where we ended up keeping some in reserve to be used on players [that are] hopefully prime age, impact-type players down the road,” Epstein tells MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat. “It gives us a bit of a leg up as we look toward next winter or an in-season move that might make the present and the future better.
The Cubs were criticized for giving Edwin Jackson a four-year deal for $52 million dollars despite a track record of being an average pitcher, and after an average season with the Cubs in 2013, maybe the Cubs are beginning to spend their money smarter.
“Rather than just spend the money to spend it, if we can book that and have it available to us to sign that international free agent who comes along in the summer or to acquire a player in a trade who carries a significant salary but fits for the long term, or to just start out next offseason knowing we can be a little more aggressive on the guys we really want early because the money will be available to us, that made more sense than spending the money now just to spend it.”
With Epstein going on the record and teasing fans with the lure of signing an international free agent, acquiring a player via trade, or being players in free agency next winter is putting the onus on he and Hoyer to deliver an impact player or two after admitting they are banking money saved from this offseason.