Chicago Cubs management delivered on their offseason plan
Maddon Comfortable With Existing Roster
During the Winter Meetings, Cubs skipper Joe Maddon answered some questions from the media. These questions helped unearth Maddon’s feelings about the 2017 team and outlined his thoughts on how the club should position itself for 2018. From his responses, it is clear that he would have been comfortable with very little roster churn. And for the most part, with the entire infield and outfield returning, he got his wish.
Pitching, however, is the one spot where Maddon clearly recognized the value of change. Upon being asked about the addition of starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood, Maddon replied:
"“[signing Chatwood is] definitely a step in the right direction. The conversation…is based on pitching, when we are up in our room. We’re satisfied with the team on the field but we have to constantly try to upgrade the pitching.”"
And upgrade they did.
Beyond Chatwood, left-hander Drew Smyly and the highly-coveted right-hander Yu Darvish were brought in. This not only fills out a very solid starting pitcher group for 2018, but stocks the team with quality arms beyond. Even with these “adds”, the 2018 roster is not too far a departure from the 2017 version. Where changes were to be made, though, having the Cubs front office align with Maddon was critical.