Despite what most are saying, the Chicago Cubs don’t need to make big moves to enjoy success this summer. They just need to get back to the basics.
Halfway through the month of may, pundits, bloggers and fans alike are calling for Theo Epstein to pull the trigger on a big deal. The Chicago Cubs entered play Tuesday one game under .500, coming off a disappointing weekend series against the rival Cardinals.
Epstein pulled the trigger on a blockbuster trade last summer, sending Gleyber Torres, Billy McKinney to the Yankees in exchange for flame-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman. The deal netted the best closer in the game for the Cubs, but cost them one of the best prospects in all of baseball in Torres.
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In the end, it paid off. Without Chapman, Chicago likely doesn’t win the World Series. But with a title in-tow, the front office has to continue thinking big-picture, not ‘win-now’.
Forget the big name arms
That’s right. Forget Greinke, Archer, Gray and the like. The last thing the Cubs need to do is overreact to a slow start and pillage the farm system in hopes of addressing it.
I’m not saying Epstein won’t add pitching depth. We know for a fact that he’ll be doing just that, based on recent reports.
"“At some point, we’re gonna be able to pull off a deal where we trade some position player resources, probably in the form of prospects, for starting pitching to help our big league club either in the present or in the future or hopefully both.”"
Near the end of his tenure in Boston, Epstein deviated from what led the Red Sox from peril to prosperity. He opted for buying talent instead of developing it internally. And, in my opinion, it led to his departure.
Now in Chicago, he’s yet again proven that building from within works. When you do it right, you can build a controllable core. Not just a core, but a group that may very well net you a handful of pennants before going their separate ways.
Epstein will build around these guys – the Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarbers of the world. Fans like to talk a big game about dealing guys like Ian Happ, but in just three games, we’ve seen the sheer talent these young prospects possess.
It’s all fun and games talking about these hypothetical deals. But when the dust settles and we close the book on another regular season, the Chicago Cubs won’t be amongst the highlight trade deadline stories people look back on.
They’ll make deals, sure. But don’t expect blue-chip prospects to be changing hands for the second-straight summer.