Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer has made it pretty clear the team will be focusing on the future for the remainder of 2021. This will include trading veterans, possibly including “core” pieces, and looking to get future assets in return. How much of the team will be traded away will be seen within the next few weeks. Regardless, Hoyer has stated he does not plan this to be like the Theo Epstein rebuild he helped coordinate in 2012.
It is probably fair to say fans want to see a shakeup within the team to better themselves for the future. That said, it would very difficult for people to stomach several 90-to-100 loss seasons before being a competitive team again. The Ricketts family most likely does not want to stay down too long and see ticket sales potentially take a big hit and Marquee ratings going down, thus seeing less profit. To sum it up, a quick rebuild is what is desired for all involved parties.
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Last week, Hoyer went on the Laurence Holmes Show on 670 the Score and talked about the future of the Cubs. When specifically asked about the team’s current position compared to where the organization was in 2012, Hoyer responded:
"When we walked in, in 2012 we realized that this was going to be a really long process to get good. We didn’t feel like we had the right pieces together — Now I think with the players we have I don’t see any reason why this needs to be a long process."
Part of what Hoyer talked about was having the right pieces to build around and he feels he has those internally right now, as opposed to 2012. What has yet to be answered, but will be answered soon, is who exactly are those pieces? A combination of core guys and prospects? Primarily prospects? It is still possible they keep a core member and extend him, whether it be Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, or Kris Bryant (less likely) and build around said person.
Chicago Cubs: So just how long of a rebuild should fans expect?
It certainly feels like Hoyer wants this to be as quick as possible, maybe even just a year or two. The Cubs have Nico Hoerner up, and we could see other to prospects Brennen Davis, Brailyn
Marquez and Miguel Amaya come up within the next year. Other top prospects like Ed Howard, Cristian Hernandez, Kohl Franklin and Reginald Preciado are a few years away. That does not necessarily mean they cannot build another competitive team sooner than later.
If the Cubs keep a core piece to build around and the Ricketts allow for the pocketbooks to be opened again, then this rebuild will not have to be as excruciating as it was from 2012 through mid-2014. It also can depend on how many quality near-MLB-ready prospects can come back in potential trades for Craig Kimbrel, Bryant and other veterans, which can help speed up the process.
It’s crunch time for this organization. A quick turnover and return to the top will buy Hoyer a lot of good will with fans and just might turn down the heat on ownership, too.