Look For Cubs to Spend This Offseason

Look For Cubs to Spend This Offseason

When will the Cubs spend?

When will the tanking end?

When will the next phase of the rebuilding kick in?

First of all, you ask a lot of questions.

However, based on what I've heard, this offseason is the answer to all of the above. It is not known how much of a player the Cubs will be in free agency yet, but you can bet they will invest in some pitching. This time, hopefully, to keep. Look for the Cubs to spend this offseason.

It has been an excruciating process to tank four consecutive seasons. After accumulating 4 very high draft picks, it is time to call another play in this major market.

It really is too bad the Cubs and Jeff Samardzija can't iron out their differences and make a deal happen. It sounds lately to be less about money and more about Samardzija's desire to compete and soon.

There were some whispers this week that Shark was hedging a little bit on his hard negotiating stance, due to the fact he can see where this thing may be turning a corner. You can actually see some progress in some of the young Cubs bullpen arms along with the rebirth of Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro. Plus, the Cubs seem to have a good clubhouse chemistry these days. Much improved this year, I'm told.

Mix in Kris Bryant's domination of AA and you can start to see some things worth sticking around for.

Yet, it is still very likely Samardzija is moved within the next month. Fox's Ken Rosenthal told Dave Kaplan Tuesday on 87.7. FM The Game, that the Cubs had asked the Blue Jays for young pitcher Drew Hutchison and one of their top pitching prospects in either Aaron Sanchez or Marcus Stroman in return for Samardzija.

Can they get that type of major-league-ready talents back for Shark? For me, that is a must. Its time to start putting MLB-ready pieces on the field to surround Bryant and Javy Baez when they arrive.

It's early to speculate too heavily on who the Cubs will pursue this off-season. However, look for John Lester and Justin Masterson, as targets, when it comes to pitching.

There was some concern recently that Masterson has lost a tick or two of velocity, but one scout tells me speed was never his main tool anyway. Keep in mind Lester and Masterson are both former Red Sox draftees by this current administration.

Lester would fit perfectly as the ace the Cubs would need moving forward.

It is also been mentioned recently by GM Jed Hoyer that the Cubs want to acquire a veteran, much like when the Reds picked up Scott Rolen at the deadline, a move that could factor daily in the clubhouse and lineup.

Colby Rasmus is one name mentioned to me as a free agent the Cubs could pursue. They could also take a run at Denard Span in the trade market. Both players are left-handed hitting outfielders that would help balance out the heavy right-handed hitting the Cubs have coming through the system.

The Cubs did what they had to do in terms of the current CBA. It's time to turn the page now. I'm reminded of a scene from "Goodfellas". The one where Paulie tells Henry to quit selling drugs.

Paulie: I don't want any more of that shit.
Henry: What shit? What are you talking about?
Paulie: Just stay away from the garbage, you know what I mean.
Henry: Look, Paulie.
Paulie: I'm not talking about what you did inside, you did what you had to do. I'm talking about now, from now, here and now.

That's pretty much how I feel about the tanking.

It's time for the Cubs to go straight.


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  • Rasmus is due to be the best FA OF on the market (given age, talent, etc). He will command a huge deal. I wouldn't touch him given those circumstances.

  • In reply to bwenger:

    I don't see the deal being that huge. There are some teams that won't touch him because he is a bit of a wildcard. But I think the Cubs need that in their clubhouse right now.

  • Liam Hendricks would be a pretty embarrassing part of the package for the front office if true. Since the Cubs had Hendricks for the cost of a waiver claim this offseason and then being forced to trade their best pitcher to reacquire him.

  • In reply to Gunther Dabynsky:

    Do you mean Drew Hutchinson?

  • In reply to Gunther Dabynsky:

    Yes, sorry. Like we said on Twitter, it was Hutchinson. Damn 8% beers.

  • Good article! I hope the money is there to go get the free agents they'll need.

  • In reply to baseballet:

    They will. They have $ left over from Tanaka bid and Sori comes off books.

  • Hendricks?
    Where did that come from?

  • In reply to DeuceBaseman:

    Typo earlier. We good.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    While we are pointing out typos, I'll mention that Hutchison has a tricky name. There is no 'n' after the 'i'. Common misspelling.

    Finish your bloody mary and get it together, Tom!

  • In reply to HotSpinachDip:

    Im a mess today.

  • In reply to DeuceBaseman:

    Well he was an outstanding guitarist in the 70s and late 60s. Sorry couldn't resist. It was a typo should have been Hutchinson.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Did he write "Excuse me while I kiss this guy"?

  • I copied and pasted wrong name last night.

  • It will be interesting. Some good story lines ...

    Will they take a shot at Lester, is Kenta Maeda worth a run at, and maybe a Cargo trade ?

  • In reply to Rbirby:

    Maeda is more of a back of the rotation guy and the cubs have those in their system. I love Cargo but his health is a concern every season.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Plus Rockies are in win now mode.

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    In reply to Tom Loxas:

    I think any talk of Cargo will depend on the Rockies current AAA outfield and other prospects. If they think that Dickerson, Parker and Blackmon are able to step in for Cargo and be productive then a Cargo for pitching type of switch may happen when he is healthy. But that may be an if not when on the healthy thing with Cargo.

    Win now mode is probably true but they are going to be cost effective at the same time.

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    I hope you are right Tom. We were all hoping this last off season was the year to do it but the talent and money did not match up.
    Rasmus is interesting but not really what I would call a big money guy unless he comes back healthy and continues towards his 30/30 season he was setting up for in April.

  • In reply to Richard Hood:

    The problem on the hitter side of FA is he is a big money guy. There aren't many top tier guys that are hitting FA. HanRam, Sandoval, and Rasmus are the only ones that are going to score huge, long-term deals. I'd be surprised if either HanRam or Sandoval end up hitting FA. SF and LA are both spenders, and in contending windows. So Rasmus may be the only major FA.

  • Looks like Jed just confirmed Tom's article on the Game. The Cubs will spend this offseason.

  • Really curious to see what happens to the Sun-Times sports section if the Cubs do actually spend money. That basically kills their storyline right?

  • In reply to jorel1114:

    You also seem obsessed with that, too.

    The fact is that you used the term if, and up to now they haven't, except for ineffective pitchers (like Veras and Jackson).

    On the other hand, the prevailing view is that the time for the Cubs to stop tanking is now, including in this piece in the Daily Herald (that's a link, jorel), and should sign Jeff to a long time contract, like most other teams have done with their ace. Where's the money, jorel?

    In any event, the Sun-Times seems to have more business problems than you disagreeing with what up to now has been a factual portrayal.

  • In reply to jack:

    Yawn...stop trolling

  • In reply to jorel1114:

    Yawn...thank you Ms. Cop.

  • In reply to jack:

    So in your view calling me a woman is a negative thing? You're a misogynist also? Seems about right.

  • If they kept Samardzija and got Lester....formidable rotation


    If Bryant can come up and mash and you get something out of Alcantara/Baez....could be a wild card team.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    Even without Samardzija it's a good rotation.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Well ya, but the rotation with both of them may be one of the best in baseball. All of the Cubs have no pitching/must draft pitching calls go away pretty fast with those guys in Chicago. That said I don't think Lester is very realistic. Masterson much more realistic as he may be a 2nd tier guy that you can get for 20-60 mil less than the top guys.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    Which maybe less then what Samardzija is asking for.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    And if you get rid of Jackson....

  • What about Masterson as a target? His GB rates would mean a natural fit with Bosio.

  • In reply to kSlee146:

    I would think. Plus he's their guy.

  • In reply to kSlee146:

    I did mention him in post.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Whoops. Lol. After rereading it, I see you mentioned him. Great read as always, Tom!

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    I think it would be great if the Cubs could sign Lester or Masterson. I would also hope they can find an additional bargain in a player similar to Phil Hughes. Someone who has the tools but has historically underperformed. Like Yovanni Gallardo for example. He may be pitching his way out of the club's $13M option (if you believe Milwaukee Sports Radio), though I think he will be tendered.

    Brandon Morrow should be on the cheap as well. Chad Billingsley is a guy who might be non-tendered. Brett Anderson too. Luke Hochevar may be relatively inexpensive. Andrew Miller too.

    And the Cubs have their own guy in Edwin Jackson, who I think is too often abused. He does his job. He is right now what he has been historically. He is an innings eater who gives you about 60% quality starts, high strikeouts, high walks, mental errors at the worst times possible. Unfortunately he is the one BIG free agent signing of this front office. But he was never signed to be an ace.

  • fb_avatar

    I also think Neil Ramirez will have a shot at starting next year and he could be a great, under-the-radar addition to the starting staff.

  • I don't accept the notion that tanking seasons was ever the plan. When they started to rebuild and were tuck with bad contracts no huge free agent would have signed with them. They didn't sign Maholm, Jackson, Feldman or Hammel with the intent on tanking. The Cubs just failed to perform well enough so they moved guys at the deadline for prospects. Much of what happened last year was because Castro and Rizzo were horrible. Was that the plan?
    Fujikawa needed TJ surgery. Was that the plan? Scott Hairston failed after a 20 HR season. this season SCHIERHOLTZ is doing the same.

  • In reply to ddevonb:

    Sorry, you couldn't be more wrong. They had no intention of winning last 3 years and all but EJax were signed with intention to flip.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to ddevonb:

    The underperformance of those players only meant the Cubs didn't get as much back in return. Maholm, Feldman, and Hammel were specifically signed with the intent of flipping for prospects at or near the deadline. I would say that the timeline has been extended beyond what Theo would have initially liked, but there was never an intent to be mediocre. In today's market, between the draft, CBA, and IFAs, you need to guarantee a high pick. Only one way to do that.

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