Chicago Cubs: Key free agent moves since 2016 – expectation vs. reality

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

Free agency has gone from fun and exciting to frustrating and uneventful for Chicago Cubs fans since the franchise opened a new era five years ago.

After the unexpected run to the NLCS in 2015, the Chicago Cubs were ready to go for all the marbles in 2016. Before 2015 the team had landed Jon Lester on a six-year deal, a key move in their rise to success. Going into 2016 the Cubs put themselves back and the map and looked to attract some of the big names on the free agent board.

After winning it all in 2016 the Cubs attempted to continue to plug some holes on the roster with more signings in 2017-2018. The past two offseasons had a few smaller signings, but to the frustration of fans, no big names. This article is going to look back and evaluate the key free agent signings the Cubs have made since the 2015-2016 offseason.

Criteria for this article: Key MLB-deal free agent signings only. No minor league deals, trades, Rule 5, etc. These signings being evaluated were meant to make an immediate impact with the big league club in some form. It would be hard to look through every signing so we are sticking to the biggest ones possible. Each signing will get a “current” grade if they are still on the team or “final” grade if they have since moved on or retired.