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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