Chicago Cubs: How will this off-season compare to last year?


With the Chicago Cubs putting together a magical 2015 campaign which had them sinking both the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals in the playoffs, how will this upcoming off-season compare to last year?

To recap, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer were able to reel in some big names such as skipper Joe Maddon and southpaw Jon Lester to start things off to help lead this club full of young talent.

We already had the feeling that Addison Russell and Kris Bryant were well on their way to debuting sometime after Cactus League play wrapped up in March, so things were looking great.

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Aside from Lester, the Cubs went out and re-signed veteran right-hander Jason Hammel. Hammel was a key piece in a trade that brought over prospects Russell and outfielder Billy McKinney to help add some depth to their farm system.

How Hammel performed in 2015? Well, we’ll save that topic for a later date.

Nonetheless, Maddon inherited a handful of players who remain under team control for at least six-to-seven years, allowing him to mold them into future All-Stars such as David Price, James Shields, Scott Kazmir, and Evan Longoria while in Tampa Bay with the Rays.

The difference between the time he had spent in Tampa Bay up to his Chicago Cubs debut in 2015 is that he only won 61 games in his first year down in Florida. This season? He crushed Rick Renteria‘s 2014 mark of 73-89 by racking up 97 wins and only 65 losses while finishing with the third best record in all of baseball.

So, now that we’ve got that little stat out-of-the-way, let’s turn our attention to the fact that the North Side of Chicago is quickly becoming the destination of choice for top free agents across the market.

The man mentioned earlier in this article, David Price, is one starting pitcher who could possibly sign with a brand new team sometime very soon if not late in December. 

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It was reported by Ken Rosenthal that the Chicago Cubs appear to be at the top of Price’s list. Just the other day, general manager Jed Hoyer told the media that they would, in fact, be in the market for ‘several’ rotation arms.

If the Cubs were to land a guy like Price, the ‘price’ tag (see what I did there?) would have to be somewhere close to Lester’s, who signed a six-year, $155 million deal. They just need to give Jake Arrieta a fresh deal first.

Which could be a problem since, you know, his agent goes by the name of Scott Boras. It’s bad enough we, or they, going to have to deal with him in the long-run considering the fact that Kris Bryant – as we all know – is his future money-maker.

The possibility of landing both Price and Zack Greinke should be out of the question as well. Chicago already has Lester on board for a while and could lock-up Arrieta for the next four-to-five seasons, so Epstein and Hoyer shouldn’t be forced to spend more than they have to.

Aside from their rotation needs, Chicago extended a qualifying offer to center fielder Dexter Fowler this past Friday according to CSN Chicago’s own Patrick Mooney.

Fowler has until Nov. 13 to decide whether he’ll accept the Cubs offer. Some expect him to sign a contract, but just not with Chicago. This could open the doors for another lead-off man.

There are so many questions that will be answered between now and February. So if you’re a Cubs fan or just so happen to be someone who is well aware that this club is on its way to winning a World Series sometime soon, you better prepare for this organization to make some huge moves this off-season.