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Friday, September 24, 2021

Chicago Cubs plan to be ‘really active” in MLB free agency, says team president Jed Hoyer

The Chicago Cubs are committing to the MLB free-agent market this winter after trading away about half their roster this season.

“We plan to be really active in free agency,” team president Jed Hoyer said Friday afternoon. “We plan to spend money intelligently. We’re scouting that market heavily. We’re going to analyze that market heavily. There’s offseasons when free agency is something you do a little bit of, and obviously we have to be a little more active than usual to fill out our roster, because we have a lot more open spots.”

It remains to be seen whether Hoyer is committing to bringing in proven players or simply end-of-the-roster guys. After trading free-agents-to-be like Kris Bryant, Javy Baez, Anthony Rizzo, Joc Pederson and others in July, the team is embarking on building a new-look contender as soon as possible.

The Cubs have had surprise contributions this season from minor league call-ups such as center fielder Rafael Ortega, first baseman Frank Schwindel and third baseman Patrick Wisdom. In fact, the team has compiled a higher OPS since trading its star players, while Wisdom already broke Bryant’s rookie home run record of 26. But all three are over 30 years old.

Hoyer was asked whether any of them are the long-term answers at their respective positions—or even starters for next season.

“Age is a factor, of course,” he responded. “The honest answer is I don’t know. To answer that question now is impossible. ...It’s been fun to watch. I really respect the effort these guys have given.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 24, 2021 at 11:26 PM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs

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   1. Brian C Posted: September 24, 2021 at 11:52 PM (#6041589)
It remains to be seen whether Hoyer is committing to bringing in proven players or simply end-of-the-roster guys.

Cool story bro
   2. bfan Posted: September 25, 2021 at 08:19 AM (#6041594)
In fact, the team has compiled a higher OPS since trading its star players

Take that, fans of well-known players. Now their pitching has gone in the trash, but the big 3 (Rizzo; Baez; Bryant) didn't pitch.
   3. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: September 25, 2021 at 09:52 AM (#6041599)
“We plan to finish second or third for a lot of really good players.”
   4. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: September 25, 2021 at 09:57 AM (#6041600)
Chicago Cubs plan to be "really active” in MLB free agency

That's good, cuz they "really sucked" this year.
   5. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: September 25, 2021 at 12:42 PM (#6041608)
Minor league free agents are still "free agents," right?
   6. The Duke Posted: September 25, 2021 at 01:06 PM (#6041612)
They are going to load up on guys they can trade again at the deadline
   7. CFBF is Obsessed with Art Deco Posted: September 25, 2021 at 02:04 PM (#6041619)
The Cubs are going to tear that Dollar General apart, let me tell you.
   8. McCoy Posted: September 26, 2021 at 06:53 PM (#6041792)
   9. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 26, 2021 at 09:38 PM (#6041816)
I'll believe it when I see it.
   10. The Honorable Ardo Posted: September 26, 2021 at 09:59 PM (#6041818)
I heard Rizzo, Bryant, and Baez were core players on a World Series champion. Why not sign all three?
   11. bfan Posted: September 27, 2021 at 09:52 AM (#6041868)
Would they go after Marte or worry about a Fowler Scenario (speedy guy fades to useless much sooner than the end of his contract). Their starting pitching is so bad, and that seems to be where the better players can be purchased this winter.
   12. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: September 27, 2021 at 09:56 AM (#6041869)
I'm sure this is accurate in a quantity sense.

For next season, the Cubs have just under $40 million committed to Heyward, Bote, and Hendricks. Without adding any free agents, the Cots payroll estimator for 2022 is currently sitting at $58 million (which is not accounting for their 5 arb-eligible players). Their past three seasons have had Luxury Tax payrolls (which I'm using because it accounts for the weirdness of the 2020 shortened season) of:

$237 million (2019)
$216 million (2020)
$173 million (2021)

I will be surprised if the Cubs even approach the 2021 payroll number next year.

   13. Walt Davis Posted: September 27, 2021 at 06:13 PM (#6042022)
#11 ... maybe. As you note, Marte has a whiff of Heyward about him. He'll fit fine if his CF defense is still OK but, worst-case, he could bring some fun to the top of the lineup, give the fans something to cheer. Given his age, I doubt anybody will offer more than 3 years and the Cubs will have plenty of payroll room over the next 3 years so it's not likely to restrict them much if he tanks.

To your second point, yes I think they have almost no choice but to sign a couple of stabilizing SPs. Of course that's what Edwin Jackson was supposed to be back in the day and that didn't work out well.

It's kinda mind-boggling: by WAA, Cubs' SP are at -8 (-1 WAR), last in the NL. The bullpen had that great first half but is now down to -4 WAA. By that, if the Cubs had average pitching, they'd be 500 right now. Nowhere to go but up when it comes to pitching but they have very little in the minors that's ready.

As we've all noted, the Cubs have given up nearly 7 runs a game in Aug-Sept (342 runs in 50 games). That's just embarrassing. They'll try to do something about that.

If the Cubs make a big splash (which I doubt), I'll guess it's Trevor Story, try Hoerner in CF.

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