Losing out on Russell Martin isn’t a bad thing for the Chicago Cubs
In this off-season in which the Chicago Cubs are linked to–and apparently most likely to sign every big free agent–there will me misses. After it was reported the Cubs were the front-runner for Russell Martin‘s services, news broke he signed five-year, $82 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. This doesn’t negate the fact the Cubs missed out on a quality catcher with great leadership ability, but they were right by not engaging in a bidding war.
It’s well documented how “flexible” the team’s payroll is this winter. Some people believe the Cubs could sign two of the top free agent pitchers, not just one. Theo Epstein made that clear.
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"“It’s hard to acquire pitching. Period,” Epstein said Wednesday. “It’s hard to acquire top-of-the-rotation pitching. I’ve seen us linked. People predict that we’re going to sign two top-of-the-rotation starters who both require nine-figure contracts. That’s not happening."
It’s believe the Cubs offered somewhere near four-years for $65 million, with some options offering a fifth-year. At age 32, Martin is getting what is likely his last big payday. And in all honesty he’s worth it. But not for the Cubs, not in their current situation.
Welington Castillo is not a lost cause, and can still be a solid everyday backstop. Kyle Schwarber impressed in his time in the minors, but hasn’t played past Single-A yet. Epstein and Jed Hoyer saw an opportunity, but weren’t going to sacrifice the long-term goals they have set for the 2015 season.
Now is simply the time to dust off, and set eyes on Jon Lester, who will meet with Boston before he visits Chicago this week. Let’s not forget, it’s only mid-November. The Hot Stove Season is still very, very young. The Cubs have in no way “lost” the free agent battle by missing out on Martin. And whoever they do look to sign isn’t going to be “plan B” as it’s likely to be referred to as.