Prior to Tuesday’s badly-needed victory, the Chicago Cubs had lost 12 straight games. That surpassed the 11-game losing streak we saw when the core was still intact. For being such a large market team, the reality of the situation right now is embarrassing to say the least. It is simply just unnecessary. There are funds available.
Tom Ricketts opted not to extend Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez and Craig Kimbrel. From a business standpoint, I understand the logic of “if my core isn’t performing well enough to make the postseason, why am I shelling out millions of dollars to extend these players?”
Rightfully so – Ricketts has a point, to an extent. That is true. Regardless of how much your heart is in it, baseball is a business and therefore owners won’t stand by losing money because the players have pleased the fans in the past.
The cold truth is this team was not performing well enough to be World Series-caliber. Whether or not buying starting pitching at the deadline, keeping the core with Kimbrel intact would have made a difference will be forever a mystery. The fact now is, here we are.
How long this will be the norm in Chicago will become a lot clearer as soon as this winter. An argument can be made that, for one, the Cubs have a ton of financial resources at their disposal after dumping everybody at the trade deadline. On the other side of that argument, which top free agent is going to want to sign here now if you are showing no signs of being competitive? The Cubs have repeatedly said “this is not like 2012.” They will simply have to show us. Jed Hoyer is going to need to work a lot of magic this offseason.