It is OK if the Cubs win now. Really, it is.
— Matt Spiegel (@MattSpiegel670) June 27, 2014
The tanking was necessary but it should be a thing of the past. The Cubs now seem to be in the midst of the next phase of the rebuilding program: development and advancement.
Whether it's players like Anthony Rizzo or Starlin Castro rebounding or pitchers such as Jake Arietta and Neil Ramirez emerging, it appears there is some real development happening on the MLB roster.
Couple that development with advancement in the minor leagues, like calling up Kris Bryant to play alongside Javy Baez, the Cubs future is a mere 300 miles away.
Sure, tanking has yielded a potential megastar in Bryant and other potential cornerstones in Albert Almora and Kyle Schwarer. Am I saying the focus should shift to contending immediately? Hell no. I am not taking about winning enough for it to matter for the next couple of seasons.
Yet, it now appears it's safe for the Cubs to move forward. There is some actual, tangible evidence that the Cubs young talent is making real strides. Even team president Theo Epstein seemed to be enjoying the progress at last week's Hot Stove/Cool Music event last week: "I don't know if you've noticed, but we're kicking some ass lately".
For those of you still conditioned by tank mode, don't worry, regardless of some progress in the W/L record, the Cubs will still end up drafting high enough to add an impact player next summer. The eventual trades of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel that will help ensure that likelihood.
However, the cupboard is not exactly bare anymore either. Come the end of the trade deadline, and certainly by early September, we should see the Cubs import some young players that can fill some of the gaps left by, fingers crossed, the last major summer sell off.
Kyle Hendricks, Arodys Vizcaino, and Arismendy Alcantara should all see Chicago before seasons' end. You may also see some potential MLB-ready players the Cubs receive in the Samardzija/Hammel deals sooner, rather than later.
GM Jed Hoyer has alluded to what we reported earlier in the month: the Cubs are intent on making some moves forward this winter. Epstein also shared some of those feelings with our own Wilco Me That.
"Just by virtue of the inexpensive, young, productive players we have on our roster, we're going to have some payroll flexibility. We don't have too many commitments and a few years down the line, we will have a little more flexibility to where our payroll can grow to," says Epstien.
Growing sounds good.
Tanking, however, should be in the past.
So enjoy a win here and there. It's OK, really.
Thanks for reading; if you enjoyed it, please share with others. And if you'd like to be updated on my future posts, and those from the rest of the Cubs Insider team, you can subscribe below.
Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.
And be sure to like Cubs Insider on Facebook. You can also
Filed under: Uncategorized