Chicago Cubs: Deciphering recent noise coming from a new front office

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs / Jed Hoyer
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

It’s enough to drive you batty, trying to ferret out what baseball executives mean when they talk – and the Chicago Cubs brass is no exception. They don’t want to give anything away or give competitors any advantage, so they resort to double, triple, four-bagger-speak, where one has to read between the lines in order to glean any meaning from words that are intentionally informationless.

It takes a bit of doing. But I’ve watched Carter Hawkins’ initial conference a great many times, and a goodly percentage of baseball press-gang coverage as well, in the commission of my duties  and I’m going to try to turn some of the noise into signal.

The running narrative in Cub-land is ‘intelligent spending’. What does that mean? At face value, this means ‘make good-monetary-decisions-that-won’t-cause-Tom-to-tighten-up-the-purse-strings-like-he-did-to-Theo.’ In other words, don’t be dumb. Marcus Stroman is way too expensive. We’re looking at the Dylan Bundys of the world, even though …

Chicago Cubs:  What does this mean? – ‘Pitching is first priority’

What does that mean? Because it’s not the case. The first priority is to maintain the profit margin. This is what makes Tom Ricketts (and I assume papa Joe) cry foul. It’s the Ferengi in them. The organization does not go into the red ink. They go in for squid inc., thank you very little. The rest is lumpy gravy. But the organization has learned the Jon Lester lesson. It just isn’t time yet.