Are the Cubs going to take a step back this offseason?
Is that even possible? There are some in the media who claim some potential Cubs offseason moves would indicate the timeline for winning is being moved back again.
If the Cubs deal Jeff Samardzija, it may not be about the timeline to winning being so far off. Instead, Samardzija may actually bring back the young, potential top of the rotation pitcher that he himself may never ascend to.
Now if the Cubs trade Edwin Jackson that is a different story.
Theo Epstein opened up the can of worms during a presentation to season ticket holders recently. The Cubs president readily admitted to the group they may have jumped the gun a bit by signing Jackson last offseason. Patrick Mooney recently hinted the Cubs could actually unload Jackson's contract in the pitching hungry market.
I have been hearing for a while that the front office has been miffed with the restraints they have experienced. Yes, they wanted a rebuild, not overpriced free agents. Yet, they also expected the resources to acquire pieces that could accentuate and accelerate the big picture. They expected more than a $100 mil payroll to work with.
It’s hard to say how close the Cubs were to international gets like Puig, Ryu, Cespedes, and Darvish, but I’m confident a little extra money would have gotten them at least one.
Now with the Wrigley renovation still in limbo and potential TV deals still fuzzy, the plan to supplement the farm system is still down the line it seems. Sure Jed Hoyer publicly volunteers info the Cubs will be in on Masahiro Tanaka. Just in time for the option on your season tickets.
Think about the surprise bid the Cubs put on Anibal Sanchez last offseason for a minute. I envisioned Tom Ricketts as the dad surprising his disappointed sons by taking them new car shopping, after previously telling them they couldn’t afford one. Instead his credit gets denied and they end up on the used car lot instead with Jackson.
If the Cubs indeed deal Jackson, they are not only admitting another mistake but, would they be pushing the timeline back? They would at least be indicating they were not really ready to spend on the big club yet. That is fine with me at this point. Players like Tanaka make sense but who actually thinks they can financially hang with the Dodgers and Yankees?
The Cubs shouldn’t have to endure such small market limitations. It is reality however, and it is time to turn the page. I have one hope, that they be done with flipping players now. It was fun, but I'm over that process. If the Cubs were to sign a Phil Hughes type, why not hang on to him at this point?
In the meantime, you have no choice but to wait on the kids. Yet, there is hope on that front, I’m convincing myself lately. I’m not sure if it was Kris Bryant’s eyes hypnotizing me, or if it was just his utter domination of the Arizona Fall League that really helped.
Speaking of dominance that is what Epstein and Hoyer are claiming it will take for us to see prospects like Bryant in Wrigley soon.
"That's part of the criteria for advancement. One thing we tell our players: 'If you want to move up, dominate your competition. Perform. Ultimately, it comes down to performance. You need to work on your player plan. You need to work on your weaknesses. You need to be a good teammate. But the single most important factor is performance. Dominate.'
"We'll see what our guys do when they go out there. If you are dominating your level over a significant period of time, you will advance in the system."
Both Bryant and Javy Baez have shown that very dominance of late.
It’s only a matter of time before they are both here and it no one will notice if Edwin Jackson is.
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