Chicago Cubs front office is addressing the problems of past seasons
Theo Epstein and the Chicago Cubs brain trust has yet to make the blockbuster trade fans are waiting for, but has quietly added depth in MLB-ready players.
The Chicago Cubs front office has work to do this offseason. Ownership is keeping spending to a minimum while hoping to extend some of its young talent. Epstein has said nothing is off the table in terms of moving those same core players, either. Kris Bryant has been consistently rumored as the big chip to be traded – but will likely stay in Chicago until Josh Donaldson signs his deal.
To the casual fan, it seems like the front office has spent the Winter Meetings and the beginning of the offseason twiddling their thumbs. In reality, it has done a lot to shore up the depth of the Cubs organization.
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Depth is something the Cubs have lacked over the last few years. Epstein took responsibility for that following the 2018 and 2019 seasons and needs to fix the problem entering 2020. That’s not the easiest task under the current budgetary circumstances.
While the news surrounding the Cubs is the lack of a huge trade, Epstein has stockpiled players with big league experience for a cheap price. In just December, the Cubs have acquired or re-signed:
Hernan Perez – IF
Brandon Morrow – RP
Noel Cuevas – LF
Brock Stewart – RP
Dan Winkler – RP
Jharel Cotton – RP
C.D. Pelham – RP
Stockpiling pitching seems to be the bullpen approach for 2020. Many of these relievers haven’t seen much playing time like Stewart and Winkler. Players like Morrow and Cotton, who are extremely cheap assets, have legitimate MLB experience and can help the club – barring any health/injury issues.
Some fans will blame the 2019 failures on specific players’ performance, the struggles of whoever was at second base or the lack of success in veteran pitchers. Obviously this has a significant impact on the season, but the consistent problem since the 2016 World Series championship has been quality depth.
We watch organizations like the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers suffer personnel issues due to injury or bad play and are able to replace it with a capable backup.
Theo Epstein and company has made an effort to catch up to the depth featured by the best clubs in the league. The talent is absolutely there when looking at the Cubs roster. Success may be dependent on these minor league contracts having big league success.