When asked what exactly the path forward following the largest sell-off in Chicago Cubs history looks like, team president Jed Hoyer didn’t exactly inspire confidence with his answer:
"“I don’t know what we’re going to do. So no one knows what we’re going to do yet,” Hoyer said."
Sure, this upcoming free agent class is one of the most star-studded in recent memory. In it, you’ll find the former cornerstones of this Cubs franchise in Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javier Baez. But whether or not any of them return to the North Side remains a looming question – and one that fans want to see answered.
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But answers are in short supply at 1060 W. Addison right now. Hoyer pointed to the expiring CBA as a driving force in the uncertainty surrounding not only the future of the Cubs but teams across baseball. Until that new agreement is in place, it’s hard to plot a course forward.
When asked about the potential timeline for the team’s return to relevance, Hoyer was just as vague:
"“I can’t really answer that right now,” Hoyer said."
What he did have answers on was who was to blame for Bryant, Baez and Rizzo winding up on the trading block. In radio interviews on Monday, he made sure that the buck didn’t stop with him, instead saying it was on the players for not accepting the offers made to them.
"“That will probably be my greatest source of frustration from this era…I put my head on the pillow every night knowing we put our best foot forward. The extensions we offered these guys will hold up exceptionally well against the open market … I don’t know why guys didn’t want to sign. I don’t know why guys didn’t want to even counteroffer, often times. Every one of these guys would say they wanted to stay in Chicago, ‘we wanted to be a Cub,’ but then we would sit down and do negotiations, that wasn’t how they acted.”"
Chicago Cubs: Ownership, front office happy to place the blame elsewhere
Now, for years, Theo Epstein and now Hoyer have made sure that all extensions are discussed behind the curtain – never commenting or dragging things out into public. So for Hoyer to – literally, as soon as these three are out of the clubhouse, drop the onus on them is a bad look and one that could cost the Cubs in any future efforts to bring them, or other key free agents, into the mix.
All I’ve heard since the trade deadline went down is a lot of deflection and a lack of answers and clarity. The only thing this front office and ownership seem clear on is that this isn’t a situation of their own making – at least not to them.