Chicago Cubs: Is this a re-tool or just more smoke and mirrors?

Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Cubs: Adding some star power back will be critical

Signing a big name free agent is imperative this winter. Although one name won’t be enough to bridge the gap of mediocracy to the World Series, it can at least restore some faith in Cubs fans. The quickest way to turn this thing around is by getting one big name, then buying at next season’s trade deadline, regardless of where you are in the standings.

By doing so, it shows that you are serious about this not being a complete rebuild. Fans will want to attend ball games again. It will show marquee names that Chicago is a good destination if they want to play for a contending team. Unless they truly go big in the offseason and manage to not only convince the Ricketts to open the checkbook, but successfully acquire multiple big-time names in free agency, this will be the only way to right the ship. That means the rest of this season and next season at least before you see winning baseball on the North Side.

The only thing good about this situation at the very best is the pace the Cubs are on to secure a top five draft pick in 2022. Between Kyle Schwarber, Nico Hoerner, Bryant and Baez, the Cubs have had success in scouting and drafting good players with their past first-round picks. What a shame that securing the best draft pick available now makes more sense than winning ball games.

Ultimately, whether this is a retool or a rebuild is actually completely out of Hoyer’s hands. He can only do so much with what he is given. It is up to the Ricketts family to make the final call regarding any and all financial matters. Completely hypothetical example: Kris Bryant wants to sign for 10 years and 200 million. Hoyer could be completely gung ho about it and tell the owners and Ricketts can simply say no. That doesn’t fall on Hoyer.

Therefore, when the offseason comes along, if Ricketts does not spend, my blame 100 percent falls on ownership for not allowing the front office to do what it wants to improve the team. That’s where we will fall into rebuild rather than retool territory. A huge offseason or even any success in the offseason regarding free agents is key to the Cubs’ success. How aggressive ownership chooses to be this winter will reopen the window as much as they allow it to be.