Cubs need to learn from Nationals’ loyalty to Ryan Zimmerman

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Loyalty seems to be falling by the wayside in today’s world. Personally, I don’t believe that’s something we, as a society should be proud of, but it certainly seems to be the case.

We know that loyalty has certainly taken a back seat in the offices at Gallagher Way where Tom Ricketts is seemingly huddled under his desk clutching his checkbook like Gollum in Lord of the Rings. Finances are the name of the game for the Chicago Cubs organization – and it’s damaging to the point that a sale of the franchise needs to be seriously considered.

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Meanwhile, mid-market teams like the San Diego Padres and Washington Nationals are making moves left and right. San Diego, of course, netted former Cubs ace Yu Darvish and catcher Victor Caratini, as well as Rays lefty Blake Snell within 36 hours – and have continued bringing back key contributors from last year’s club.

Washington is becoming a haven for former Cubs. Kyle Schwarber joined former bench coach and current Nationals skipper Dave Martinez on a one-year deal and soon thereafter Jon Lester inked a deal with the 2019 World Series champs, reuniting with longtime Chicago infielder Starlin Castro.

The whole reason Lester went to D.C.? Because ownership refused to allow president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer to offer even a couple million dollars to bring him back in 2021.

Cubs are swinging and missing on just about every front

To stoop that low with a guy who completely changed what it meant to play for the Cubs or be a Cubs fan, to me, is unforgivable. Oh, and to rub a little salt in the wound, the Nationals just brought back Ryan Zimmerman, a franchise legend, back on a one-year, $1 million deal – despite really having a spot for him in the lineup.

"“I didn’t know if they were going to offer me a Major League deal, or if they were going to want me to come down on a Minor League deal,” Zimmerman said. “I’m 36 years old and I haven’t played baseball in a year. I think that shows, obviously, the respect that Riz [general manager Mike Rizzo] and the team have for me. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that.”"

Respect. There’s a word that you won’t hear tied to the Cubs’ brass right now. There’s bene no transparency regarding the team’s path forward and while I understand a good deal of that is keeping your cards close to the chest, it’s pretty darned clear this team is about to rebuild.

There’s no ‘threading the needle’ or quick turnaround in the works. That’s clear by the type of prospects netted in the Darvish deal. The Cubs are thinking long-term and it shows. Their biggest move of the offseason (in terms of additions) is a backup catcher who might hit his weight.

No notable pitching additions – even when you could’ve brought back a guy you know will take the ball every five days in Lester – no replacement for Schwarber in left field or for the bevy of other departures (Kipnis, Chatwood, Quintana, etc.)

dark. Next. So, Bryce Harper wanted to come to Chicago after all

At just about every turn, the Cubs are making the wrong decision right now. In how they treat players, what they’re communicating to fans and how they’re approaching the offseason. Meanwhile, the Washington Nationals are showing everyone what it means to do things the right way in bringing back Zimmerman for a 16th season with the club.