Chicago Cubs: Did last winter cost the team a chance at success?

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

By most measures all five Chicago Cubs free agent signings from last offseason constituted failures – and the blame lies at the feet of Theo Epstein.

Last offseason, the Chicago Cubs signed free agents Yu Darvish, Brandon Morrow, Tyler Chatwood, Brian Duensing and Chris Gimenez. At the time, these moves seemed solid, with the potential to turn out well. However, all five of those free agent signings turned out to be a disaster – at least in the short-term.

The front office had a lot of work that it needed to do last season. Two-fifths of the starting rotation needed to be replaced or re-signed. For the third year in a row, the closer’s situation needed attention. There was a whole host of decisions to be made with the rest of the bullpen. And a veteran backup catcher was definitely on the shopping list too.

This time around, there are very few moves the front office has to make. In theory, next year’s position players and starting pitching rotation could be composed of players who are already on the Cubs roster.

The likeliest focal point of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer? The bullpen. But after a disappointing finish to the 2018 season and Epstein’s end of year press conference where he said that the Cubs needed to shift their focus from talent to production, the Cubs may make more moves than just the ones that have to be made.

Let’s hope the front office learned some lesson’s from the last go-round and gets some better results.