Theo Epstein addressed the media in Arizona as the Chicago Cubs begin camp activities. One thing he was asked was if the Cubs would add more via free agency.
Pitchers and catchers reporting Tuesday involved the beginning of the season presser with Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein, GM Jed Hoyer and manager Joe Maddon. This year’s presser was not as “fun” or “happy” as it has been in years past. Between the Addison Russell situation, the Joe Ricketts emails and the lack of big moves, the media was ready to fire all sorts of questions.
All those topics were addressed in detail by Epstein and Maddon before a lot of baseball talk. Epstein was eventually asked about the free agent market and hinted that they might be going after one more player. While the players are reporting to camp, the front office is still making calls and exploring options to add.
670 the Score quoted Epstein in the presser, saying, “We’re still in touch with a lot of free agents out there and their representatives. There’s a possibility.”
Hinting to what is possible
Epstein specifically elaborated on what kind of players are likely to add; he mentioned reliever depth. The Cubs officially signed Brad Brach earlier this week and made a few small signings, however, they still lack reliable lefty depth. There are guys like Tony Sipp and Dan Jennings still on the market, among many others. Still doubtful they go after Craig Kimbrel, but time will tell where he goes.
While not mentioned, one may wonder if they still are at all interested in a backup veteran catcher. Though it seems more and more likely they are putting their faith in Victor Caratini to have that job. The Cubs may decide to add a veteran backstop during the regular season after getting a taste of Caratini to start. Martin Maldonado is one of the veterans still available currently.
One thing seems clear, the possibility of adding a piece does not include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado or any notable position player left. Unless they are hiding something unbelievably incredibly well, those players remain a pipe dream and not happening. This is the core they are sticking with.
Whatever move they make, if there even is one, will be a depth move. Expect another bullpen arm. Spring games start on the 23rd of February so any possible addition could come within the next week or so.