The Chicago Cubs would love to get some expensive players off the books to speed up the rebuild, but that’s not how contracts work.
Hoyer and the Cubs claim they’ll make some big moves this offseason after dealing away the likes of Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Javy Baez and Craig Kimbrel at the trade deadline. Unfortunately, Hoyer cannot completely start over by ridding some awful contracts off the books, as no team is willing to take on a bad deal without significant prospect capital in return.
“We plan to be really active in free agency,” Hoyer said Friday afternoon. “We plan to spend money intelligently. We’re scouting that market heavily. We’re going to analyze that market heavily. There’s offseasons when free agency is something you do a little bit of, and obviously we have to be a little more active than usual to fill out our roster, because we have a lot more open spots.”
Chicago does have plenty of money to play with after their deadline moves. Surely, even fans wish they could completely clear the books and start over at this point.
Chicago Cubs: Jason Heyward’s contract is an atrocity
Heyward’s season is likely to end prematurely due to a concussion, but he wasn’t providing much help in the outfield anyway.
There are two years left on Heyward’s deal, and it’s a real question mark whether the Cubs can find a way to buy those years out. If you’re Hoyer and the Ricketts’ family, surely you wish it were so simple.
The following, from Brett Taylor of Bleacher Nation, really puts Heyward’s struggles in perspective.
"“There are two more years left on his deal, but it was already a situation where the roster spot was the real question. Gut says the Cubs won’t release Heyward this offseason, though, and will instead give him a chance to transition into a part-time role next year. I don’t know if that’s the best use of the 40-man roster spot this offseason (much less the 26-man roster spot next year)…”"
Given the eight-year megadeal the Cubs gave Heyward back in 2015, the Cubs had higher expectations for him than fighting for a roster spot by 2021.