Chicago Cubs: Reaction moves are never wise, as Jed Hoyer well knows
By Jake Misener
After the Brewers made headlines with a pair of high-profile moves, the Chicago Cubs again emphasized they aren’t in the business of reacting to opponents.
Scrolling through Twitter after the Milwaukee Brewers traded for Christian Yelich and signed Lorenzo Cain, you’d have thought they knocked the Chicago Cubs out of playoff contention right then and there. And that’s based off only reading comments made by Cubs fans – not their northern neighbors.
There’s no disputing this simple fact. Milwaukee is an exponentially better team now than they were a week ago. Offensively, they have a very talented core – ready to contend for an NL Central crown this year. Their pitching staff? Well, not so much.
Thankfully, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer aren’t pushing the panic button. Nor should they. The Cubs are built for the long haul. And if they can add that final long-awaited starting pitching piece, the future looks even brighter.
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs should keep close eye on non-tender candidate Cody Bellinger
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs are giving pitcher Javier Assad a deserved shot
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
And both Epstein and Hoyer have made it clear in recent days. They aren’t in the business of making moves based on decisions their opponents make. They have a plan – and they’re going to stick to it, no matter what.
"“Every year we had to be disciplined — this is what we want to do, this is our plan,” Hoyer said. “When you get into a game of reacting to what your opponents do, I think you can make a lot of mistakes. You have to stay with your plan, stay with what you want to do and know that teams are going to come after you and know that teams in your division are going to get better. They want to win as much as you want to win.”"
Following the plan
The plan hasn’t always been easy. It took years of low-quality on-field product at Wrigley Field. Annually, the Cubs seemingly dealt every veteran of value every summer, leaving the Triple-A team to round out the campaign. But, with each passing season, the Cubs amassed high-level draft picks, as well.
Fast forward. Those very draft picks: Javier Baez, Albert Almora, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ are on the field for Chicago on a daily basis. And it’s worked pretty well. The Cubs won at least 90 games in each of the last three seasons – making the NLCS in each campaign.
Related Story: Believe it or not, Theo Epstein has this under control
Now, that plan shifts. Instead of stockpiling position players every June in the draft, the front office has been focusing on pitching. With a few years till those arms make their way to the big-league club, though, free agency and trades are the name of the game.
Chicago has been incredibly active on the free agent market this offseason. They brought in Tyler Chatwood, also adding Steve Cishek, Brandon Morrow and Dario Alvarez to shore up the bullpen. All signs indicate one of either Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish or Alex Cobb joining the staff before Spring Training.
Next: Despite additions, Brewers still aren't tops in Central
Again, sticking to the plan.
Milwaukee likely isn’t done either. But it’s nice to know Epstein and Hoyer are staying the course. This duo turned the Cubs from a perennial laughingstock to a Major League powerhouse in five or so years – and they’ll maintain that status by avoiding the bait and sticking to their guns.