The management of the Chicago Cubs can’t do anything right these days. The trades of three beloved superstars put Jed Hoyer in the spotlight. The Cubs roster is gutted, and it’s basically a Triple-A lineup for the remaining 50+ games or so. Luckily for Hoyer, this winter will give the Cubs a chance to redeem themselves.
Chicago will only have about $ 50 million in payroll at the end of the 2021 season. will be be money to spend. Hoyer and Cubs president Tom Ricketts both spoke about financial flexibility going forward. Now it’s up to them to prove it.
Jason Heyward, Willson Contreras, and Kyle Hendricks are the big deals for 2022, and frankly, no one knows what the Cubs’ plan is from here on out. Certainly for Hoyer’s defense it’s hard to say when the squad will be good again, given that there will be a new CBA and how that will affect players and the market.
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Hoyer has said repeatedly that it won’t be a long rebuild, and he has to prove it. There are names available, the Cubs big three of course, Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman, Corey Seager, the list goes on. The whole fanbase has a bitter taste in their mouths right now, and fielding a competitive squad in 2022 is one way to get fans back on their side.
Chicago Cubs: A Path to Competitiveness
There is a way to be competitive in 2022, and that means going crazy this winter, whether it’s with trades or free agency. It’s a question of how much the Cubs want to engage in it. There’s a theme in all of the perspectives that the Cubs gained by the trade deadline, and they’re all a few more years away, mostly 2023-24. It doesn’t look like the Cubs have any plans to compete in 2022, at least on the surface.
Hypothetically, if the Cubs can find starters behind Hendricks for the rest of 2021, like Justin Steele, Keegan Thompson, and Adbert Alzolay are already there, they’re already ahead of the 2022 curve. Now let’s say the Cubs sign a guy. like Chris Taylor or Mark Canha, and place great importance on Correa, and a former Cub, Nick Castellanos, has a opt-out option in his contract after this season.
Making additions like that, plus the alleged addition of top prospect Brennen Davis could make the Cubs a candidate for the division in 2022, and they can build from there.
The team could also play a role in the trade market and review the trade negotiations with the Rays they had on the trade deadline. That involved the Cubs trading Bryant to Tampa Bay and the Cubs taking over Kevin Kiermaier, plus his salary and a few prospects, and maybe Tyler Glasnow. The fan in me says the Cubs should have done it and it would have been a huge blockbuster.
The is a path to competitiveness. The Cubs have options. They have the money, the free agent class is good, and they need to make some moves. Hoyer’s future with the organization could very well depend on it, and fans might stop showing up if the Cubs show no interest in winning.