With the trade season officially behind us, Chicago Cubs fans have begun to accept reality that the core players are gone. Given the fact it has been brought to light the front office has not been truthful with its fans, It’s hard to see a scenario where any of the core members return to the North Side anytime soon, especially as early as this offseason in free agency.
Therefore, as it has been reported that Tom Ricketts may be looking to open the checkbook this offseason, it is only fitting to look at the quickest ways Cubs management can complete this re-tool and get back to competitive baseball as soon as next season.
So, you have a report from April stating “big money spending will be back soon.” More recently, you have reports of Kris Bryant stating he has not been offered a contract extension since 2017 after the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. To connect the dots here, if you ask me, it seems the front office knew all along it wasn’t going to extend its core this year. Especially with them underperforming the last couple seasons.
If Jed Hoyer has a master plan, my gut tells me this is it. Free up as much money as possible as has been done this season and go for it in free agency this year. Whether or not Tom Ricketts honors his word will of course remain to be seen. However, should Ricketts come through and open up the checkbook, knowing how loaded this free agent class will be this offseason, it makes perfect sense if this was the plan all along.
Let’s start with looking at five free agent pitchers the Cubs not only should target, but can afford to pay given the newly found financial breathing room.